Sunday 23rd of January 2022

sunni side up...

sunni side of the road

wilkie against intervention... (updated)

No reference yet in the WWW news outlets, but on ABC radio today Andrew Wilkie was quoted to tell the Australian leaders (a big word for a bunch of winkers), "not to get involved in the latest conflict in Iraq. Enough damage has been done already..." More when copy comes in... Ah here is the link just uploaded on the ABC


But what is extraordinary is that it seems the US — despite its massive intelligence networks — had no clue as to what was going to happen... Either they knew and let it go under the magic carpet because of their friends the Saudi or they had no idea... In order to mount an offensive the size of this one, the rebels (Al Qaeda Sunni Wahhabist terrorists who would be getting moneys from friendly Wahhabist Arab nations) had to "prepare" and then shift across long distances, knowing that the Iraqi army in some of the city would basically melt into the sand OR JOIN IN.

For example it takes a skilled pilot to fly a military chopper — and in my little head, I am prepared to believe that the yank chopper celebrating victory above one of the fallen cities, was being flown by a trained pilot of the Iraqi army who had defected... 

old chewing gum


BAGHDAD — A senior Iraqi official on Friday warned that his country might be forced to turn to Iran for military help if none were forthcoming from the United States, but he insisted he was unaware of any Iranian military units in his country so far.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to make statements to the media, was severely critical of the Obama administration for its handling of the Iraq crisis, and for failing, in his view, to better prepare the country’s military for an emergency.

“If you’re in an antique shop there’s a sign, ‘If you broke it, you bought it,'  ” the official, who is an adviser to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, said. “I am not saying the Americans are responsible for everything, but they did not leave a well-trained army and they left us without any real air support, and the Obama administration really shares much of the blame.”

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Hey... Don't blame Obama for you having troops that are not worth their sandals. Blame sectarian "religions". See if you have Sunnis in your troops, they are going to be first and foremost Sunnis before being soldiers. Simple. Cannot get this out of their heads, can you? They will give up fighting, not because they are badly trained, but because the "enemy" is Sunni — extreme Sunni but Sunni nonetheless. Calling for help from Iran might become necessary... The Russian might oblige as well... Who knows. The present mess was DEFINITIVELY created by Georgie Bushie and his coalition of the willing (including Blair and Howard who should be in prison for the deed)... The Yanks tried to sell you "democracy" like an out-of-date packet of chewing-gum... no bubbles, just a sticky mess...

back to the "real" business of wars...

The price of Brent crude spiked on Friday over concerns about the ongoing insurgency in Iraq.

Oil prices settled down, but at $4 per barrel higher than at the beginning of the week.

Reassurances about the flow of oil supplies went some way to calming market jitters.

Brent crude futures stabilised at $112.32 per barrel, while US crude levelled to $106.55, after the highest reading for both since September.

Insurgents have taken over two Iraqi cities, prompting the US to say it was considering "all options" to help Iraq.

Iraq is the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) group.

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The higher the price, the more the Saudis cash in... Good, hey?

a colossally irresponsible exercise...

From Chris Floyd...

UPDATE: A new article out today by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett underscores the insanity of the policies that have produced the situation in Iraq today. They pay special attention to the role of the Syrian conflict, which I only glanced at above. It is an important angle -- and one of the best illustrations of the madness now raging through the halls of power in the West. Once again, as in Afghanistan, Washington and its European and Saudi partners have poured massive amounts of money and weapons into an insurgency led by violent religious extremists -- and are now shocked to see this extremist insurgency spread throughout the region, particularly in Iraq, where a corrupt, crippled, invader-installed regime has led the country into further division and degradation. 

Meanwhile, as I noted above and the Leveretts underscore here, in Washington the only response being offered is more of the same: more intervention to combat the extremists in Iraq, more funding and weapons for the extremists in Syria (and often the groups are the same), more war, more death, more violence. They literally do not know anything else. 

Here's an excerpt from the article:

In Iraq, the resurgence of sectarian violence stems not from the 2011 American withdrawal. It is, rather, the fruit of America’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, the subsequent U.S. occupation, and the much vaunted “surge” of 2007-2008. The U.S. invasion and occupation destroyed the Iraqi state and ignited tensions among Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic communities. The surge sought to empower certain Sunni militias while paying them (temporarily) not to kill American soldiers; this ended up giving Sunni militants the means to press their grievances through escalating violence once U.S. forces were no longer around.

Unfortunately, Washington seems determined to compound its appalling policy choices in Iraq with equally grievous choices regarding Syria. For over three years, America has provided Syrian oppositionists with “nonlethal” aid, trained opposition fighters, coordinated with others openly providing lethal aid for U.S.-vetted recipients, and extended high-level political backing to the anti-Assad campaign – including serially reiterated public demands from Obama that Assad “must go.” Yet, from the conflict’s start it has been clear that opposition fighters would not dislodge Assad, no matter how much external help they received – because, from the beginning, the constituencies supporting Assad and his government have added up to well over half of Syrian society. …

These realities were readily observable in spring 2011; we have been writing and speaking about them for over three years. Yet the Obama administration decided, within weeks after the outbreak unrest in parts of Syria in March 2011, to support oppositionists seeking to overthrow Assad. It did so – as administration officials told the New York Times in April 2011 – because it calculated that destabilizing Assad’s government would undermine Iran’s regional position.

This was a colossally irresponsible exercise in policymaking-by-wishful-thinking, for two reasons. First, outside support for opposition fighters – a sizable percentage of whom are not even Syrian – has taken what began as small-scale, indigenously generated protests over particular grievances and turned them into a heavily militarized insurgency that could sustain high levels of violence but could not actually win. The Obama administration prides itself on overthrowing Libya’s Muammar al-Qadhafi in 2011 without putting U.S. boots on the ground (though the results are comparable to those in Iraq: the destruction of a functioning state and the arming of militias that kill with impunity – including the U.S. ambassador in 2012). Assad is a vastly tougher target. Stepped up support for anti-Assad fighters will not accomplish anything positive strategically; it will, however, perpetuate conditions in which even more Syrians die.


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Baathist plots have been partly vindicated...

ERBIL, Iraq — Meeting with the American ambassador some years ago in Baghdad, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki detailed what he believed was the latest threat of a coup orchestrated by former officers of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party.

“Don’t waste your time on this coup by the Baathists,” the ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, chided him, dismissing his conspiracy theories as fantasy.

Now, though, with Iraq facing its gravest crisis in years, as Sunni insurgents have swept through northern and central Iraq, Mr. Maliki’s claims about Baathist plots have been at least partly vindicated. While fighters for the extremist Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, once an offshoot of Al Qaeda, have taken on the most prominent role in the new insurgency, they have done so in alliance with a deeply rooted network of former loyalists to Saddam Hussein.

The involvement of the Baathists helps explain why just a few thousand Islamic State in Iraq and Syria fighters, many of them fresh off the battlefields of Syria, have been able to capture so much territory so quickly. It sheds light on the complexity of the forces aligned against Baghdad in the conflict — not just the foreign-influenced group known as ISIS, but many homegrown groups, too. And with the Baathists’ deep social and cultural ties to many areas now under insurgent control, it stands as a warning of how hard it might be for the government to regain territory and restore order.

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Blair, Bush and Howard got it sooooo wrong, it's not funny. They should be in prison.

atheists declared terrorists in saudi arabia...


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, after all these years, has finally come down hard on terrorism in their country - by declaring anyone who is an atheist, who associates with atheists, or even seeks information about atheism, to be criminals subject to criminal prosecution!

This, by a country that has not only openly encouraged and financed radical Islamist sects such as al-Qaeda for decades, but was also recently appointed to the UN's Human Rights Commission!

Don't let the Saudis get away with this. In a country where the Pew Research International estimates that 10-15% of Saudis are non-religious, this law will put millions of Saudi citizens at risk of arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, torture, and even execution.

Sign AAI's petition denouncing these outrageous new laws and calling for world leaders to demand that they be rescinded!




This is a bit rich when we know that terror in the Middle East is coming from strict Wahhabism and other extremist Muslim organisations, mostly supported by the Saudis. 


where does the money come from?...


During its conquest of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, ISIS fighters looted more than 500 billion Iraqi Dinar, worth about $420 million (308 million euros) at current exchange rates. ISIS is a rebel army composed of Sunni jihadis that calls itself the "Islamic State of Iraq and greater Syria." Its aim is to establish a theocratic Sunni caliphate in the region.

Iraqi officials estimate that the group now has about $2 billion in its war chest. What remains controversial is where the bulk of its money comes from.

Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government accuses Saudi Arabia of supporting the ISIS jihadis. On Tuesday (17.06.2014), Iraqi Premier Nouri al-Maliki said "we hold Saudi Arabia responsible" for the financial and moral support given to ISIS.

The USA, which is Saudi Arabia’s most important ally, has rejected the Iraqi Premier’s accusation. Jen Psaki, a speaker for the US State Department, said on Tuesday evening that al-Maliki’s accusation was "inaccurate and humiliating."

Money from the Gulf States?

"There is no publicly accessible proof that the government of a state has been involved in the creation or financing of ISIS as an organisation," said Charles Lister, Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, a subsidiary of the US think-tank Brookings Institution.

Others take a different view. Günter Meyer is Director of the Center for Research into the Arabic World at the University of Mainz. Meyer says he has no doubt about where ISIS gets its funding. "The most important source of ISIS financing to date has been support coming out of the Gulf states, primarily Saudi Arabia but also Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates," Meyer told Deutsche Welle. The Gulf states' motivation in financing groups like ISIS was to support their fight against the regime of President Bashar al Assad in Syria, according to Meyer. Three quarters of the Syrian population are Sunni Muslims, but Syria is ruled by an elite drawn mostly from the Alawite minority. The Alawites are an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Recently, however, the government of Saudi Arabia has recognized the dangers of this policy. "Saudi citizens now compose the largest contingent of foreign fighters in ISIS. When those fighters come home, there's a danger that they might turn against the Saudi regime," Meyer said. But there are reasons to believe that financing for ISIS continues to flow out of Saudi Arabia, "less from the Saudi government than from rich Saudis".

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plunging the tories' head in their own mess.



From Mike Carlton, SMH

WMD doubts are ludicrous'. Headline, The Australian, July 10, 2003.

"Obviously, the immensely difficult situation in Iraq is not resolved. Despite the election for the national assembly and provincial legislators, full democracy is still some time off ... But, now, at least Iraq has a chance of establishing a system of representative government ... There is a real possibility now that Iraq might become one of the few representative governments in the Middle East. – Gerard Henderson, The Sydney Morning Herald, February 1, 2005.

"The Iraq war was the right war against the right enemy at the right time, and waged for broadly the right reasons. There is no need to apologise about it. Notwithstanding many mistakes in execution in the peace-keeping phase, provided the coalition of the willing retains its nerve there is every chance of achieving a reasonable outcome still ... the decision to go to war was the right one. George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard deserve praise for their courage." – Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor, The Australian, March 22, 2006.

"The battle is actually over. Iraq has been won. I know this will seem to many of you an insane claim. Ridiculous! After all, haven't you read countless stories that Iraq is a "disaster", turned by a "civil war" into a "killing field"? You have. And you have been misled ... Violence is falling fast. Al Qaeda has been crippled. There is no civil war. The Kurds have not broken away. Iran has not turned Iraq into its puppet. And the country's institutions are getting stronger. The Iraqi army is now at full strength, at least in numbers. Iraq not only remains a democracy, but shows no sign of collapse. I repeat: the battle for a free Iraq has been won." – Andrew Bolt, the Herald Sun, November 2, 2007.

Sorry to inflict this drivel upon you, but there are some points to be made. George W. Bush and the neo-cons of Washington who fomented the war in Iraq bear a heavy responsibility for the catastrophe engulfing the country today. So, too, the principal leaders of that now risible coalition of the willing, including Britain's Tony Blair and our own John Howard (Dubya's  Man of Steel.)

In prosecuting that war they were cheered all the way by the unquestioning Tory toadies of the Australian media, principally –although not solely – in the Murdoch press. The hubris, the evasions, the lies, the errors, the lethal incompetence – the whole ghastly march of folly – was trumpeted to the skies by these people even as the ground shifted and chasms of fact and logic opened beneath them. 

They seized upon any piece of official idiocy to make their case. And not just Saddam Hussein's non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Vice-President Dick Cheney's boast that US soldiers would be garlanded with flowers in Baghdad and welcomed as liberators ... George Bush's "mission accomplished" ... Donald Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns, John Howard's claim that Saddam Hussein operated a "people-shredder" ... nothing was too bizarre to be pressed into service by the media propagandists.

If you dared to question the war, in concept or execution, they branded you anti-American. Ideological claptrap, of course,  but the worst of Tory insults. You were disloyal, even treasonous. Anti-war marches were organised by communists, Bolt claimed, and the protesters were full of "self loathing hatred of our civilisation and its freedoms".

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Yes Mike... We know. But I bet you an Obeid lamppost against a packet of peanuts that the Bolts, the Hendersons, the Sheridans et al at the merde-och press bunker, will, with very astute writhing writing, absolve themselves of being wrong... THEY WILL BLAME SOMEONE ELSE. They will say it's Obama's fault or the weather or something else. They will do it with brilliant bullshit as usual. Golden turds will fly pass our windows, followed by pigs in red budgie smugglers. Am I wrong? 
The sorry point here is that the great Gerard Henderson — a denialist of global warming and a great supporter of ultra-batty rightwing ideas — has been appointed as the grand doodah of judges for the Premier Literary Awards... Still apparently, he cannot smile. Seriousness is the name of the game 24/7 when one is at the helm of the Sydney Institute...



The Iraq war was supported by the Saudis... Such wars are not fought for overnight results. There are undercurrents and true desires that are withheld while SOMEONE ELSE is doing your bidding. There are opportunities to be cultivated, secretly... Do the sums... At every turn, the game is the price of oil and who controls the place...


For example some people have suggest that there are many Saudis fighting for the "rebels' in Iraq and the Saudi government is worried that when these come back to Saudi Arabia, they would ferment terrorism... Let me laugh for a minute. The Saudi government would not receive them as heroes. They would be placed in prison and then executed without trial, as fodder always is. 


Once the 'rebels" have done the deed and turned Iraq into a Wahhabi kingdom, those who think they have the support of their own kind, would have to watch their back... The process of revolution is never clear cut. Someone pulls the strings of puppets...

if life was not complicated enough for presidents...


BAGHDAD — In a darkened living room in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, a gray-haired militia commander picked up his phone Friday to read a text message from one of his colleagues on the battlefield.

“Captured six ISIS members in an ambush,” it said, referring to militants from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, an al-Qaeda splinter group whose advance over the past 10 days has nearly brought the Iraqi state to its knees. “At dawn I killed two, four I gave to the army.”

The message was an example of what members of Iraq’s Shiite militias describe as growing cooperation with the country’s army. As Iraq spirals into chaos, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is now relying on the militias, which once carried out hundreds of attacks on U.S. soldiers, to help him cling to power.

The lines between Shiite militias and the Iraqi armed forces have been increasingly blurred since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011. Now, as the ISIS threat reinvigorates militias and the United States dispatches 300 military advisers to the fracturing country, the overlap is raising questions about increased American support for Iraqi forces.

“Potentially what this could amount to is the U.S. arming or advising Iranian proxies, some of which are on the terror list,” said Phillip Smyth, a researcher at the University of Maryland specializing in Shiite Islamist groups.

Speaking in London, retired Gen. David H. Petraeus, the former head of coalition forces in Iraq, raised similar concerns on Wednesday. “This cannot be the United States being the air force of Shia militias,” he said of potential U.S. strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq.

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All this mess of course is the child of president Simpleton Bush and his cronies, Weasel Blair and Lying Howard... No debate about this.


mission accomplished...


From the Independent


Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the countryWorld View: A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany


Patrick Cockburn


How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: "The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally 'God help the Shia'. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them."


The fatal moment predicted by Prince Bandar may now have come for many Shia, with Saudi Arabia playing an important role in bringing it about by supporting the anti-Shia jihad in Iraq and Syria. Since the capture of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) on 10 June, Shia women and children have been killed in villages south of Kirkuk, and Shia air force cadets machine-gunned and buried in mass graves near Tikrit.

In Mosul, Shia shrines and mosques have been blown up, and in the nearby Shia Turkoman city of Tal Afar 4,000 houses have been taken over by Isis fighters as "spoils of war". Simply to be identified as Shia or a related sect, such as the Alawites, in Sunni rebel-held parts of Iraq and Syria today, has become as dangerous as being a Jew was in Nazi-controlled parts of Europe in 1940.

There is no doubt about the accuracy of the quote by Prince Bandar, secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council from 2005 and head of General Intelligence between 2012 and 2014, the crucial two years when al-Qa'ida-type jihadis took over the Sunni-armed opposition in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute last week, Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, emphasised the significance of Prince Bandar's words, saying that they constituted "a chilling comment that I remember very well indeed".

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See toon at top and note publishing date...


arming official supporters of terrorism...

The United States has signed an agreement with Qatar to sell Apache attack helicopters and Patriot and Javelin air-defence systems valued at $11bn.

The agreement was signed at the Pentagon by US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Qatar's defense minister, Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah.

"Today's signing ceremony underscores the strong partnership between the United States and Qatar in the area of security and defence and will help improve our bilateral cooperation across arange of military operations," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement on Monday.

The deal is reported to be the biggest US arms sale so far this year.

Hagel visited Qatar in December when he and Attiyah signed a 10-year Defence Cooperation Agreement to govern interaction between US and Qatari forces and enable the continued assignment of American troops to installations in the area, including the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base.

"This is a critically important relationship in the region," said Kirby. "And the secretary is pleased to be able to continue to make it stronger."


Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are part of that clique that support the ISIS terrorists in Iraq and those fighting in Syria... What are the Yanks thinking!?? 

Ah yes I know... If they did not sell weapons to these official supporters of terrorism, these would buy somewhere else and business is business... 

the greasy oil...

Israel’s disproportionate and increasingly pernicious role in American politics and policies is well-known. But Washington’s decades-long collusion of corruption with the repressive, retrograde regime of Saudi Arabia has if anything been even more disastrous for the world.

Historians of the next millennium will look back on the fatal bargain that humanity has made with fossil fuels as one of the great wrong turnings in the history of homo sapiens. By the end of this century it will have burned or drowned vast portions of the planet and plunged billions of people into ruin and suffering. The benefits that arose from our oil-based civilization cannot be denied — yes, I too am glad that an ambulance can get me quickly to the hospital or fly me across the ocean to see my children — but the cost of these benefits has been immense, and there is far worse to come in the years ahead … not least for those same beloved children.

One of the most deleterious effects of fossil-fuelled civilization has been the prominence that geographical happenstance has given to Saudi Arabia. Its vast reserves of oil has meant that governments of every stripe have overlooked its horrendous oppression and its global propagation of one of the most narrow and ignorant perversions of Islam. This is particularly striking given the fact that for the past 30 years, “Islamic extremism” has been the chief bugbear and bloody shirt waved by Western powers seeking to maintain and extend their dominance of world affairs. All of these powers — Washington especially — have always known that the greatest backing, financing and arming of “Islamic extremism” have come from the elite of Saudi Arabia … the same elite that the Western powers have cravenly courted, decade after decade. 

Without oil, Saudi Arabia would be one of the world’s pariah states, where women are oppressed to a degree unseen in any other nation, where clerics wearing 17th-century blinkers behead people for the crime of falling in love with the “wrong” person, where the political freedom of ordinary people is stifled on a level nearly commensurate with that of North Korea. But Saudi Arabia does have oil. And so its oppression, misogyny, brutality and tyranny is not only excused by the West’s great champions of democracy; it is honored, celebrated and sustained with arms deals and diplomatic support — and, of course, the trillions of dollars that have flowed to the kingdom from every corner gas station in America for decades.

lacking intelligence and full of mud...


The inability of the United States government to anticipate the ISIS offensive that has succeeded in taking control of a large part of Iraq is already being referred to as an “intelligence failure.” To be sure, Washington has unparalleled technical capabilities to track money movements and to obtain information from the airwaves. It is adept at employing surveillance drones and other highly classified intrusive electronic methods, but there is an inherent problem with that kind of information collection: knowing how the process works in even the most general way can make it relatively easy to counter by an opponent who can go low tech.

Terrorists now know that using cell phones is dangerous, that transferring money using commercial accounts can be detected, that moving around when a drone is overhead can be fatal, and that communicating by computer is likely to be intercepted and exposed even when encrypted. So they rely on couriers to communicate and move money while also avoiding the use of the vulnerable technologies whenever they can, sometimes using public phones and computers only when they are many miles away from their operational locations, and changing addresses, SIM cards, and telephone numbers frequently to confuse the monitoring.

Technical intelligence has another limitation: while it is excellent on picking up bits and pieces and using sophisticated computers to work through the bulk collection of chatter, it is largely unable to learn the intentions of terrorist groups and leaders. To do that you need spies, ideally someone who is placed in the inner circle of an organization and who is therefore privy to decision making.

Since 9/11 U.S. intelligence has had a poor record in recruiting agents to run inside terrorist organizations—or even less toxic groups that are similarly structured—in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Information collected relating to the internal workings of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, dissident Sunni groups in Iraq, and now ISIS has been, to say the least, disappointing. To be fair this is often because security concerns limit the ability of American case officers to operate in areas that are considered too dangerous, which is generally speaking where the terrorist targets are actually located. Also, hostile groups frequently run their operations through franchise arrangements where much of the decision making is both local and funded without large cash transfers from a central organization, making the activity hard to detect.

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cashing up al qaeda...

BAMAKO, Mali — The cash filled three suitcases: 5 million euros.

The German official charged with delivering this cargo arrived here aboard a nearly empty military plane and was whisked away to a secret meeting with the president of Mali, who had offered Europe a face-saving solution to a vexing problem.

Officially, Germany had budgeted the money as humanitarian aid for the poor, landlocked nation of Mali.

In truth, all sides understood that the cash was bound for an obscure group of Islamic extremists who were holding 32 European hostages, according to six senior diplomats directly involved in the exchange.

The suitcases were loaded onto pickup trucks and driven hundreds of miles north into the Sahara, where the bearded fighters, who would soon become an official arm of Al Qaeda, counted the money on a blanket thrown on the sand. The 2003 episode was a learning experience for both sides. Eleven years later, the handoff in Bamako has become a well-rehearsed ritual, one of dozens of such transactions repeated all over the world.


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Up to a quarter of Iraq's Christians are reported to be fleeing after Islamic militants seized the minority group's biggest town.

The Islamic State (IS) group captured Qaraqosh overnight after the withdrawal of Kurdish forces.

IS has been gaining ground in northern Iraq since June, and also controls some of Syria.

The US has warned that the situation for Iraq's minority groups threatens to become a "humanitarian catastrophe".

``We are gravely concerned for their health and safety," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.



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why is the UAE bombing syria while not helping in Iraq?...

The United Arab Emirates, a small wealthy Gulf state, has been secretly bombing targets in Libya, from bases in Egypt without the knowledge of the US. We explain how the raids reflect new rivalries in the region and are likely to trigger new strains between the west and its increasingly assertive Arab allies.


The question is while the west is trying to save people in Iraq, the Saudis and the other gulf states are DOING NOTHING TO HELP... which can be translated as supporting Isis and its ruthless ways, by default or secretly... And the Saudis are our "friends"...

the saudis are not helping...

The so-called war on terror is nearly 13 years old, but which rational human being will be cheering its success? We’ve had crackdowns on civil liberties across the world, tabloid-fanned generalisations about Muslims and, of course, military interventions whose consequences have ranged from the disastrous to the catastrophic. And where have we ended up? Wars that Britons believe have made them less safe; jihadists too extreme even for al-Qaida’s tastes running amok in Iraq and Syria; and nations like Libya succumbing to Islamist militias. There are failures, and then there are calamities.

But as the British government ramps up the terror alert to “severe” and yet more anti-terror legislation is proposed, some reflection after 13 years of disaster is surely needed. One element has been missing, and that is the west’s relationship with Middle Eastern dictatorships that have played a pernicious role in the rise of Islamist fundamentalist terrorism. And no wonder: the west is militarily, economically and diplomatically allied with these often brutal regimes, and our media all too often reflects the foreign policy objectives of our governments.

Take Qatar. There is evidence that, as the US magazine The Atlanticputs it, “Qatar’s military and economic largesse has made its way to Jabhat al-Nusra”, an al-Qaida group operating in Syria. Less than two weeks ago, Germany’s development minister, Gerd Mueller, was slapped down after pointing the finger at Qatar for funding Islamic State (Isis).

While there is no evidence to suggest Qatar’s regime is directly funding Isis, powerful private individuals within the state certainly are, and arms intended for other jihadi groups are likely to have fallen into their hands. According to a secret memo signed by Hillary Clinton, released by Wikileaks, Qatar has the worst record of counter-terrorism cooperation with the US.

And yet, where are the western demands for Qatar to stop funding international terrorism or being complicit in the rise of jihadi groups? Instead, Britain arms Qatar’s dictatorship, selling it millions of pounds worth of weaponry including “crowd-control ammunition” and missile parts. There are other reasons for Britain to keep stumm, too. Qatar owns lucrative chunks of Britain such as the Shard, a big portion of Sainsbury’s and a slice of the London Stock Exchange.

Then there’s Kuwait, slammed by Amnesty International for curtailing freedom of expression, beating and torturing demonstrators and discriminating against women. Hundreds of millions have been channelled by wealthy Kuwaitis to Syria, again ending up with groups like Jabhat al-Nusra.

Kuwait has refused to ban the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, a supposed charity designated by the US Treasury as an al-Qaida bankroller. David Cohen, the US Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, has even described Kuwait as the “epicentre of fundraising for terrorist groups in Syria”. As Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, an associate fellow at Chatham House, told me: “High profile Kuwaiti clerics were quite openly supporting groups like al-Nusra, using TV programmes in Kuwait to grandstand on it.” All of this is helped by lax laws on financing and money laundering, he says.

But don’t expect any concerted action from the British government. Kuwait is “an important British ally in the region”, as the British government officially puts it. Tony Blair has become the must-have accessory of every self-respecting dictator, ranging from Kazakhstan to Egypt; Kuwait was Tony Blair Associates’ first client in a deal worth £27m. Britain has approved hundreds of arms licences to Kuwait since 2003, recently including military software and anti-riot shields.

it's up to war again, led by anthony abbott...

Tony Abbott is using the atrocities of the Islamic State (ISIlL) to justify a warlike foreign policy, but ISIL did not emerge from a vacuum, writes Rodney E. Lever.

THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA and Tony Abbott’s ragtag band don’t want you to know this, but it is time to be realistic about the awful events that have taken place this year with the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — or Isis for short. 

The gruesome beheading of a young journalist gave the Murdoch papers a horrifying opportunity to expose a terrible crime in all its gruesome truth. But like so many events, the real story is hidden in a fog of duplicity. 

It was enough recently to add one point to the dismal poll figures of the Abbott government. Then another point appeared when Abbott offered Australia’s flight of F/A18F RAAF Hornets to the U.S. for a joint attack on Isis. President Obama wisely rejected the offer. He understood through his own sources how closely his presidential predecessor, George W Bush, was linked with the 2003 invasion of Iraq and how it has directly caused the multiplication of the wealth and power of Isis.   

The Islamic State is a land of some 60,000 square kilometres — about the size of Tasmania. It occupies an area between the borders of Syria and Turkey, and north-east of Baghdad. It gained both its size and its enormous wealth as a direct result of the Iraq war. 

As one of the million or so who marched in every Australian capital city in March 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war, I had a personal interest in the protest at that time. The Australian Labor Party helped organise the March. Prime Minister John Howard called all of us traitors to our country. His decision to go to war, under pressure from Rupert Murdoch, was useless and unnecessary. All of us who marched were well aware of that.

John Howard, Tony Blair, George W. Bush and Rupert Murdoch were all instigators of an event that had not the least justification. There were lies about weapons of mass destruction that did not exist and there were lies about the Iraq leader, who had close links to the U.S. until the Republican administration decided they wanted to remove him.  

Iraq remained occupied in the years that followed the war, until it established its new government, again principally under the auspices of the United States, supported by Britain and Australia.,6843


See also: the trilogy...

uneasy alliance...

BAGHDAD — With American bombs raining down from the sky, Shiite militia fighters aligned with Iran battled Sunni extremists over the weekend, punching through their defenses to break the weekslong siege of Amerli, a cluster of farming villages whose Shiite residents faced possible slaughter.

The fight in northern Iraq appeared to be the first time American warplanes and militias backed by Iran had worked with a common purpose on a battlefield against militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, even though the Obama administration said there was no direct coordination with the militias.

Should such military actions continue, they could signal a dramatic shift for the United States and Iran, which have long vied for control in Iraq. They could also align the interests of the Americans with their longtime sworn enemies in the Shiite militias, whose fighters killed many United States soldiers during the long occupation of Iraq.

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abbott is giving weapons to terrorists...

United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has given tacit backing to the Federal Government's plan to airlift weapons to Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State in northern Iraq.

The Government has been defending its plan to use Australian transport planes to deliver the arms and munitions, with frontbencher Scott Morrison saying the plan has been agreed to in coordination with Iraq's government.

At a media conference in Auckland today, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon thanked nations which he said were taking decisive action to address the security threat posed by Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq.

"Without addressing this issue through certain means, including some military and counter-terrorist actions, we will just end up allowing these terrorist activities to continue," he said.

Meanwhile, Iraq's ambassador to Australia has backed down from comments criticising the plan to arm Kurdish troops.

In arming the Kurdish regional government, Tony Abbott is helping a proscribed terrorist organisation and placing Australians at greater risk of terrorist attack.

So, to be clear about what the Australian government is doing in Iraq, we will be providing arms not to the government of that country, but to a breakaway province whose forces include a terrorist group, the PPK,

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coming out of the wahhabi woodworks...

CAIRO — Standing at the front of a conference hall in Doha, the visiting sheikh told his audience of wealthy Qataris that to help the battered residents of Syria, they should not bother with donations to humanitarian programs or the Western-backed Free Syrian Army.

“Give your money to the ones who will spend it on jihad, not aid,” implored the sheikh, Hajaj al-Ajmi, recently identified by the United States government as a fund-raiser for Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate.

Qatar is a tiny, petroleum-rich Persian Gulf monarchy where the United States has its largest military base in the Middle East. But for years it has tacitly consented to open fund-raising by Sheikh Ajmi and others like him. After his pitch, which he recorded in 2012 and which still circulates on the Internet, a sportscaster from the government-owned network, Al Jazeera, lauded him. “Sheikh Ajmi knows best” about helping Syrians, the sportscaster, Mohamed Sadoun El-Kawary, declared from the same stage.

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No surprise since we've already mentioned the caper here a while ago. Read from top... 

the radicalisation of fundamentalism...


From Robert Fisk

Bill Clinton refused an Iranian offer of battalions of regular troops to defend Bosnia – this would be unwarranted intervention in the affairs of Europe – but no one objected when guns arrived for Bosnian forces from Muslim countries. Hezbollah in Lebanon – though Shia – initially sent 150 volunteers to Bosnia, then Algerians arrived, fresh from fighting their own government. An entire mujahedin battalion emerged in the forests of Bosnia – the “muj” we journalists called them, rather superciliously – while individual Iranian fighters paid their own way to Sarajevo. The face of one of their martyrs occupies an entire apartment bloc wall in Tehran today.

Yet while the US State Department privately told us in Bosnia that “fundamentalism” – the horror word of the time – might take root in Bosnia, no one spoke of “radicalisation”. It was regarded as quite natural that Arab Muslims might want to help their Bosnian brothers and sisters, not least because, for at least two years, we intended to do nothing about it. It even worked for the “Christian” side in the war. I remember an ex-British soldier serving as a mercenary for the Croats – wearing his former Marine uniform, complete with green beret.

Odd, isn’t it, how we took a vaguely similar view of those Muslims who originally travelled to Syria to help overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The peaceful revolution was being ruthlessly suppressed and we were happy to send money and guns to the opposition – and turn a blind eye if Muslim “humanitarian” workers were so angered by events that they joined the rebels. Only when the toughened fighters of Afghanistan and Chechnya and other Muslim nations turned up to take over the battle did we suddenly express our horror.

We did nothing about the Saudi money that still flowed towards the opposition – as indeed it had towards the Bosnians in the 1990s, which is why that beautiful country is now littered with the ugliest Saudi-style mosque architecture the Balkans have ever witnessed. Only when the opposition to Assad turned out to be as hostile towards us – the West – as it was towards his regime did we suddenly throw up our hands in horror. Ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia went on for years before we intervened. Ethnic cleansing of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq – and the murder of American hostages in Syria – brought an almost immediate response. US planes bombed Isis, which calls itself Islamic State, American leaders spoke of “apocalypse” and “end-of-the-world theology” – as if we had only just discovered that the deviant al-Qa'ida killers of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi were a crucifying, head-chopping Sunni sectarian gang. There is, after all, no difference between the executions of Iraqis in Raqqa last year, the beheading of journalists in Syria in the last three weeks and the decapitation of another Lebanese soldier – a Shia, of course – this weekend.


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See toon at top...


our julie in lalaland...

Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, says the contribution of Arab League nations will be critical to combating the strategic threat posed by Islamic State (Isis) militants.

Bishop told the ABC on Tuesday her expectation was that Arab states would join an American-led effort in northern Iraq, and that regional contribution would be “absolutely vital.”

The foreign minister said the contribution may not be military “but it could well be targeting the financial flow, the recruitment activity and the social media campaigns” of Isis and similar groups.

“The United States has called for many nations to come together to develop a plan to disrupt and degrade [Isis] and to contain its activities and to protect the innocent civilians that it’s targeting,” Bishop said.

“In defining the resources and assets that will be required, and determining a realistic set of goals, it’s important that many countries contribute to the effort. And my expectation is that the Arab states will join the effort.”

The Arab League, meeting in Cairo Monday, passed a resolution agreeing to combat Islamic State extremism, but the resolution did not explicitly back US military action.

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I could give many evidence supported reasons to say that Julie Bishop has not understood a single thing about what is happening in Iraq and Syria... Our Bishop is in total lalaland while trying to appear serious on the subject.

is that the saudis laughing over their arabica bean brew?


AMMAN, Jordan — Saudi Arabia has agreed to an American request to provide a base to train moderate Syrian opposition fighters, American officials said on Wednesday.

“We now have the commitment from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be a full partner in this effort — the train-and-equip program — to host that program,” said a senior Obama administration official, who added that discussions were underway to determine the specific site and other details.

The Saudi willingness to host a training program comes as Secretary of State John Kerry is preparing to fly to Jidda, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday morning for a high-level strategy session on how to counter the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The meeting that is being hosted by the Saudis will also include senior officials from Arab states in the Persian Gulf region, as well as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.

A senior State Department official said a number of initiatives to weaken ISIS would be stepped up, including efforts to stop the flow of money to the terrorist group by cracking down on oil smuggling and curtailing contributions from private donors.





Am I getting more cynical or are the US getting more naive? Excuse me... I am laughing so much, I need to go and get a refill for my pants liners.

Is John Kerry so enthusiastically blind? The Saudi are delighted to provide training of "moderate" Syrian Sunni rebel fighters (all Wahhabi nonetheless) who will go on fighting against the shia Assad... And all paid for the good old US of A...

My eyes are crying from laughing so much...


It’s also strange that we are unquestionably calling the Free Syrian Army (FSA) the “moderate” opposition and putting our faith in their abilities, despite many actual experts claiming they’re far from moderate and far from a cohesive army. As George Washington University’s Marc Lynch wrote in the Washington Post recently, “The FSA was always more fiction than reality, with a structure on paper masking the reality of highly localized and fragmented fighting groups on the ground.”

The New York Times reported two weeks ago that FSA has a penchant for beheading its enemy captives as well, and now the family of Steven Sotloff, the courageous journalist who was barbarically beheaded by Isis, says that someone from the “moderate” opposition sold their son to Isis before he was killed....

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hullo? anyone there?...

BAGHDAD — Caliph Ibrahim, the leader of the Islamic State, appeared to come out of nowhere when he matter-of-factly proclaimed himself the ruler of all Muslims in the middle of an otherwise typical Ramadan sermon. Muslim scholars from the most moderate to the most militant all denounced him as a grandiose pretender, and the world gaped at his growing following and its vicious killings.

His ruthless creed, though, has clear roots in the 18th-century Arabian Peninsula. It was there that the Saud clan formed an alliance with the puritanical scholar Muhammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab. And as they conquered the warring tribes of the desert, his austere interpretation of Islam became the foundation of the Saudi state.

Much to Saudi Arabia’s embarrassment, the same thought has now been revived by the caliph, better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the foundation of the Islamic State.

“It is a kind of untamed Wahhabism,” said Bernard Haykel, a scholar at Princeton. “Wahhabism is the closest religious cognate.”


From the beginning, the way the war against Saddam was waged was crook. Saddam was a bad guy. But sometimes "you need bad guys" to do the dirty work... What was Saddam's dirty work? Making sure the religious extremist Muslims, Sunnis and Shiite, did not get a foothold in Iraq. But because Saddam was selling his oil in Euros and Roubles instead of Dollars, the US helped with the poms and the kangaroos threw him out with glorious fanfare  TO TAKE THE OIL... So what was going to happen next? Roses and elegant perfumes to the "liberators"? Naw... A bloody mess and an obvious kick in the butt. 


Any second rate drover's dog would have to know that the dynamics of "de-mo-cra-cy alla Americana" were not going to stay firm in the land of quick-sands, backshish, religious rivalry and humiliations... One or all the other groups, especially those that had been disenfranchised, would create trouble...


By now, instead of having a bad guy to fight the crooked fight, we've got to fight it ourselves... Idiots... Greedy idiots... But we don't have to fight it and this is the point... By fighting, all we're doing is stirring more resentment against us for no reason, and we've got no chance of winning. 

Only idiots think that war is a way to peace... See toon at top... Note the date...

now the king can read charlie hebdo in peace...


World leaders are due to arrive in Saudi Arabia to pay their respects in person after the death on Friday of King Abdullah.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande will be in Riyadh. The US delegation is led by Vice-President Joe Biden.

King Abdullah died aged 90. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Riyadh after Friday prayers.

King Salman, 79, pledged continuity after his accession to the throne.

He also moved swiftly to appoint heirs and ministers, including one prince from the ruling dynasty's third generation.

Why Saudi matters - in 90 seconds

New appointments

On Saturday, Mr Cameron, Mr Hollande and Mr Biden will take part in official ceremonies in the Saudi capital.

Iran will be represented by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

These visitors will be looking to take the measure of the character, mood and intentions of the new monarch, BBC Arab Affairs editor Alan Johnston reports.

King Abdullah died weeks after being admitted to hospital with a lung infection.

His body was wrapped in a shroud, and buried in a public cemetery after prayers attended by Gulf heads of state and some foreign leaders.

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See toon at top...


a simmering issue...

Last week, though, after more than 12 years of grindingly slow legal wrangling, Mr. Motley’s long-running lawsuit suddenly drew headlines. Lawyers representing the families of Sept. 11 victims disclosed that Zacarias Moussaoui, a former operative for Al Qaeda now in federal prison, had told them that prominent members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family had been major donors to the terrorist organization in the late 1990s.

While Mr. Moussaoui’s statements were quickly challenged by some foreign policy experts and rejected by Saudi officials, the assertions helped bring the once-simmering issue of possible Saudi involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks back into the national consciousness. They also gained widespread notice for the long-stalled lawsuit, which has occupied the federal court docket for almost the entire 21st century.

“When I began this, I would never have guessed that I would have spent so much of my legal career on one case,” said Sean Carter, a lawyer for plaintiffs in the case. “There are times when it is exhausting, but everyone is committed to see it through.”

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see toon at top

the enemy of your enemy is not my enema...


Regimes in Syria, Iraq, and Egypt exploited the scourge - or the pretext - of terror to justify repressions and murder on a large scale. Revenge bombings and attacks became the new rule, as international law took the backseat in the Middle East.
And the non-Arab powers took advantage of ISIL to reshape their strategies, redraw maps and even reinvent relationships. As the New York Times put it: US and Iran Both Attack ISIS, but Try Not to Look Like Allies.
Likewise, Israel exploited the world's preoccupation with ISIL to attack the Gaza Strip, take over more Palestinian lands and deny Palestinians their basic rights with no repercussions, even when it turned its back to Washington.
This strange, even spectacular turn of events led many to question the mystery surrounding ISIL. Who's behind it and why? Are those benefitting from it, behind it?

Invisible hands behind ISIL?
Iran's first female vice president, Masoumeh Ebtekar, singled out the United States and the CIA as the progenitor of ISIL. And Iran's former Iranian minister of intelligence, Heydar Moslehi, went further by arguing that Mossad, MI6, And CIA created ISIL, or Daesh.
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir agreed. He told Euronews this week that America's CIA and Israel's Mossad are behind Boko Haram and ISIL.
"I said CIA and the Mossad stand behind these organisations. There is no Muslim who would carry out such acts," he said. (Bashir also blames the US and Israel for the ICC's 2013 warrants accusing him of responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide.)
And so does Fidel Castro. He believes that Israel and certain American elements are behind ISIL.
Others believe the opposite; that it's actually Iran that's culpable. Former Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad Jarba insisted that Iran is behind rise of ISIL.
Could "Quds Force be behind the ISIL in Iraq?" asked one observer.
And yet, more than a few argued that the Saudi Arabia stood behind ISIL. Then Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, claimed in a statement last summer that the Saudis were supporting ISIL and "facilitating genocide".
A former US general, Wesley Clark, reckons it's all part of an ongoing strategic conflict: "Our friends and allies funded ISIL to destroy Hezbollah."
For Clark, radical Islam is not the issue per se, as it's been generally exploited for strategic ends. For example, according to him: "The United States used radical Islam to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. We begged the Saudis to put the money in; they did."
And the seasoned journalist, Patrick Cockburn, the author of "The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising", claimed that Saudi Arabia "helped ISIL take over north Iraq". He cited British intelligence sources that believe the Saudi plan goes back a decade.

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I would point out that we've been on the case for a while... See toon at top and note date of publication... Also note that this had been mentioned throughout this site possibly since 2005, in various "suggestive" formats...


mission creep...


From Paul McGeough:


The truth about Islamic State: what it is, where it is going, how we can fight it

In the light of late afternoon on a beach in Libya, the black-clad assassins of the so-called Islamic State are at work – they behead 21 Egyptian Christians and the barbarity is captured with all the high-tech wizardry of an MTV clip.

In London, by contrast, the images are grainy and stilted - what you'd expect from a security camera. They show three British teenagers, Muslims of migrant origin, sashaying through an airport terminal. But the image has its own horror: apparently these young things are bound for Syria, to sign on as IS brides.

Such is the daily grind of news in the Iraq-Syria conflict. But a consensus is emerging that the "state" of the self-anointed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, cannot sustain itself. Sure, it will continue to horrify, but it cannot last.

So what are we waiting for?

In Raqqa, the Syrian city that is the nominal capital of IS, bookshops sell pamphlets on "permissible" sexual practices with one's female slaves. Punishment, often dispensed summarily, is brutal – human heads are stuck on stakes in the central square, sometimes with a sign explaining the victim's crime.

There is a semblance of government – separate military and bureaucratic hierarchies, ministries, courts and police forces. Pre-existing education, health, telco and electrical systems have been co-opted – but water and electricity are erratic to non-existent; drugs are in short supply; and many schools are shuttered.

In a peculiar twist, some services in the IS-controlled areas of Syria are reportedly still run by Damascus. Another peculiarity: in Iraq, $US130 million ($165 million) for monthly public service pay cheques are still couriered into IS-controlled Mosul by Baghdad – and as much as half is skimmed by IS.

IS has extensive weapons stores and an estimated 30,000 fighters, with foreign volunteers pouring in. But it doesn't have the professional, technical and managerial class it needs to run whole cities and territory with a combined population of more than 6 million people.

A resident of IS-controlled Mosul, in the north of Iraq, told The Financial Times: "When I was seven years old, the war against Iran started. Since then we've been at war. We've endured international sanctions, poverty and injustice. But it was never worse than it is now."

IS Inc is a diverse, self-funding entity. It sells oil on the regional black market, even as world prices have tumbled. US air strikes have damaged many of its oil facilities, but  it  has reportedly acquired modular mini-refineries to replace them. It trades in antiquities and smuggles cigarettes and other goods; it extorts, abducts and demands ransom.

Taking extremism seriously

Middle East history is proof enough that a thug with an army can survive in the desert, bending and breaking others to his will. So perhaps the real surprise in the gory saga of IS is that we are surprised.

In grappling to explain and to understand, there are continual efforts to make Islam the problem, most notably a treatise published in the March issue of The Atlantic by Canadian journalist Graeme Wood. Most of its 10,000 words were devoted to a painstaking analysis of the IS interpretation of Islam – and ipso facto, Islam is the problem.

"The reality is that IS is Islamic, very Islamic," Wood writes. "Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam."

But when an earlier iteration of IS rose up in Iraq in the aftermath of the US-led invasion in 2003, the tribes in western Anbar province - fellow Sunnis - revolted and with American help vanquished the movement that called itself al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). If the Iraqi tribes were willing to see off AQI, why do they acquiesce in the face of the greater horror of IS?

The answer is in Baghdad, not in the Koran. The Bush administration was able to peel dozens of Sunni tribes away from AQI leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the troop surge of 2007. But writing in the March-April edition of Foreign Affairs, Professor Audrey Kurth Cronin of George Mason University warns that the logic of US counterinsurgency then does not suit the IS conflict, because "the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government has so badly undercut its own political legitimacy that it might be impossible to restore it . . . and [Washington] cannot lend legitimacy to a government it no longer controls".

The flawed logic of The Atlantic piece demands that the West and the region must take IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi seriously – as opposed to being serious about how they confront his deranged movement.

IS is utterly alone in the world. The Afghan Taliban had generous allies in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the UAE, but diplomatically, Baghdadi is on his own. Similarly, nothing approximating loyalty or respect informs the IS relationship with communities it controls – either it imposes itself by bloody, brute force, or it is embraced by Sunnis who see it as protection against what they perceive as the more menacing barrel-bomber Bashar al-Assad or the Iranian-backed Shiite militias that have become the spearhead in Baghdad's defence – hence the presence in the ranks of IS of so many from the security forces of Saddam Hussein.

The former Baathist military men and Sunni tribal sheikhs are essential to IS. The sheikhs deliver grassroots compliance, if not loyalty; and the Baathists offer knowledge of how to run a fighting force and an understanding of Baghdad's sprawling security apparatus.

There is a degree of pragmatism in how IS deals with Iraq's tribes. Late last year, I had it explained to me by people living under IS in Fallujah, Iraq; and Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassanlay it out in their book ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror: IS deftly manages tribal politics, offering itself as an objective arbiter in local disputes and playing off young turks against their more seasoned, cautious elders.

To focus on IS as Islamic is to allow religion to obscure what the movement's other characteristics reveal about cause and effect in the region. IS is Sunni, it has strong Baathist elements and it is tribal. All these tell us something.

A tragedy of errors

Much of The Atlantic's controversial piece turned on the views of Princeton academic Bernard Haykel, but in subsequent interviews Haykel disowns the notion that Islamic texts and theology necessitated the creation of groups like IS or that Muslims who challenge its perverted interpretations of Islam are somehow un-Muslim. "I think that [IS] is a product of very contingent, contextual, historical factors," Haykel told the ThinkProgress blog. "There's nothing predetermined in Islam that would lead to [IS].

"Sunni Muslims feel really beleaguered . . . it's very hard for Sunnis to say, today, 'let's go and fight [IS] militarily', when you also have, let's say, the Assad regime killing hundreds of thousands of Sunni Muslims, or Iran and its forces in Iraq and Syria and Lebanon attacking Sunnis at the same time.

"I see [IS] as a symptom of a much deeper structural set of problems in the Sunni Arab world. [It has] to do with politics, with education and the lack thereof, with authoritarianism, with foreign intervention, with the curse of oil . . . I think that even if [IS] were to disappear, the underlying causes that produced [IS] would not disappear."

Washington and its allies seem resigned to a belief that their choices in the region are limited to anarchy or autocracy. But the Brookings Institution's Shadi Hamid sees a way out: "If [IS] and what will surely be a growing list of imitators are to be defeated, then statehood and, more importantly, states that are inclusive and accountable to their own people, are essential."

Despite all IS' "end of days" rhetoric and its taunting of the West, the movement's savagery is more calculated than it is apocalyptic. As noted by Taliban scholar Ahmed Rashid, IS was born in ungovernable chaos; is more interested in regional territorial gains than in global jihad; it sucks in foreign fighters by the thousand, but its enemy is local and Muslim; it's militarily competent – it has good command and control, intelligence, logistics and mobility. And just as the Taliban danced on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, so too does IS on the line that was the Iraq-Syria border.

But IS also relies on great good luck, mostly in the form of the incompetence of others – who would have thought that after the US invested $25 billion in standing up a new Iraqi national army, that that force would collapse so quickly to reveal the hollowness of the new Iraqi state? Who could have banked on Iran's investment in a new, parallel Iraqi security force – a network of Shiite militias, effectively Washington and Canberra's allies in this war - whose bloodthirsty and brutal tactics have caused many of the Sunni tribes of Iraq to opt for what they see as a lesser evil in IS?

Who could have relied on Syria's Bashar al-Assad to preside over the death of hundreds of thousands of his own people, abandoning Syria's eastern flank because he wanted to fight for the more populous, richer west of the country?

The regional powers have also stoked this orgy of violence, in a desperate bid to score points off each other. They insist that IS represents an existential threat, but they are only bit players in the fight against it – they send a few aircraft, but  none of them will send their armies to fight on the ground.

Similarly, the trillion-dollar security machine built by Washington in the wake of the 9/11 attacks leaves the US wrong-footed in confronting IS –  as a self-funding quasi-state with a near-conventional army, IS is not the same terrorist beast as al-Qaeda, so all "the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency strategies that greatly diminished the threat from al-Qaeda will not work against [IS]",  says Kurth Cronin.

Ahmed Rashid raps Western knuckles for a knee-jerk resort to military operations instead of seeking new regional alliances and prodding Muslim leaders to deal with their own problems. He writes: "The lack of leadership is most visible in the Muslim world . . . there is silence, helplessness and hopelessness . . . nowhere is civil society strong enough to demand greater action against extremism."

Mapping a new Middle East

Washington, meanwhile, is disturbingly confident that its retraining of the Iraqi Army - which it had already trained once - will forge a force capable of retaking Mosul, the northern city it abandoned so quickly last year. American plans to train supposedly "moderate" rebels to fight the forces of Assad and IS in Syria remain embryonic.

It seems that containment will likely emerge as the default response, with IS having probably reached its territorial extremities. Ramzy Mardini, a fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Centre for the Middle East, says: "It's no coincidence that the militants' gains have been limited to areas populated by disenfranchised Sunnis eager for protection from Shiite forces.

"[IS] is thriving in the midst of sectarian cleavages, established insurgencies, and weak or non-existent state institutions. Hence, its support in Iraq and Syria is not the rule – it is the exception."

One of the keys is convincing the Sunni sheikhs of Iraq to break their Faustian pact with IS – and to achieve that, Washington needs to step out as what Kurth Cronin calls a "diplomatic superpower", not a military one. But winning the tribes over will in all likelihood require that they get what Washington delivered in 1991 for the similarly-sized Kurdish community in the north of Iraq – a degree of autonomy and a cut of the oil revenue that pretty well allows them to make their own way. And regionally there can be no resolution unless Iran is brought into the tent of nations – and that won't happen unless Tehran gets a nuclear deal it can live with, and Washington can in turn sell that deal to Tel Aviv and Riyadh.

We think that dealing with IS is an enormous task. But that it exists is symptomatic of a still more compelling challenge – the disintegration of the near-century-old Western construct that is today's Middle East. Sarah Chayes, author of Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, writes: "Nothing feeds extremism more than the in-your-face corruption and injustice" suffered by the people of so many of Washington's closest allies in the region.

As Syria and Iraq teeter towards disintegration, others warn of an even greater unravelling. Based in Beirut, former British intelligence agent and diplomat Alastair Crooke depicts IS as "a veritable time bomb inserted into the heart of the Middle East". "[IS'] real potential for destruction," he warns, "lies . . . in the implosion of Saudi Arabia as a foundation stone of the modern Middle East."


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Gus: Here I see a good historical perspective, but a conclusion that shows that Paul McGeough, usually close to the bull's-eye could have missed the target — unless he subtly tells us to stop pandering to "our friends" the Saudis.

For little unwise old Gus, there are two key words in IS — Islamic and State. This could be as pissy propaganda as all get out, but these words are there to define a power status, even if only an illusion thereof. Without Islam, Islamic State would vanish overnight. Thus Paul's argument that Islam may not be as important as we make out does not hold water. 

One has to realise that until one reaches the ripen old-age of 25, one is usually a plastic moron... That is too say one young person, as intelligent as one may be in the neurones, is easily going to be swayed to do something either silly or be enticed to believe in a cause without proper self-philosophical insight. 

The wars of religion in Europe, some lasting more than one hundred years, were part of this affirmation of belonging to a sect, a group or a state, or raving lunatics... Many young men were conned to participate in the melee (mob lynching mentality). How?

Key words are god (allah) protestants/non believers (infidels) and guns/pitchfork/glory (defend the faith/martyrdom). 

Now an outfit like IS ain't going to make traction in the minds of Shia. But it will gain traction in the minds of Sunnis, because basically IS is Sunni sponsored and deliberately aimed at. Some "moderate" Sunnis may not like IS but they will submit to it, against the imperial (US/Australia/etc) and Iranian (Shia) forces which removed their former status — even if this former status was quite moderate in comparison. 

The process was ugly. People like Wolfowitz — a great-arse visionary in hindsight — Cheney, Abbott, Blair, Bush (Dubya), Howard, Rumsfeld and more should all be in prison — not only for war crimes, but for GREAT STUPIDITY at removing their only buffer a) against Iran and b) against IS (evolved from Al qaeda in Iraq — which did not exist until the US invaded Iraq) under the name of Saddam Hussein. If you want to have someone to wash your international dirty laundry, you need someone like Saddam to do it for you. His price was moderate, so why go and bash him up, which led to the far more serious situation now, where you have to do the dirty laundry yourself and deal with angry wasps. Idiots. Not an ounce of strategic diplomacy in their underpants. Only aggressive crap, like our own Turdy. But is it possible that the "fucups" were deliberate in order to continue robbing the Middle-East by creating confusion and continue the "war on terror" forever (to KEEP US IN A STATE OF FEAR)... But it seems that the "fucups" have gone out of hand...

So armed with the keywords (god, infidel, martyrdom, gunpowder) and promises of sex, the young men feel it's their duty to join, as all their Christmas bells have rung at once. Being shot at only adds to the glory of "belonging" to a format of "improved" social behaviour with a very strict religious code where fear and glory reigns, compared to the decadence of the western "debauchery". What would you prefer?... Indoctrination works.

Ask anyone who has had a family member caught in a "Christian" religious sect, how hard it is to remove them from there and to show them how silly they are to be in it. Most would say the task is impossible, but it is hard work nonetheless. So, for IS (or anyone who controls a "religious" state) the indoctrination is IMPORTANT and cannot be dismissed a priori. The word here is "Islam" and the version thereof — WAHABBISM.

Barbaric hordes defeated the Roman Empire. 

Who owns the license of Wahabbism? Saudi Arabia of course. Come on! Add two and two... The Saudis have seen Iraq as a threat since the Shia (Iran's religious mob) controlled the country. Beforehand they did not like Saddam because he was not committed to the cause of Sunni Wahabbism, but used Sunnis as his tool of control. The Saudis helped the US to defeat Saddam. Now they are "helping" IS to defeat Baghdad.

As well, the Saudis would not mind a bit more influence in the world. They control the price of oil, but they know this mana will run out eventually. They need a fiefdom of influence and new resources to control, from Afghanistan to Africa (Boko et al)

To cut a long story short, what should we do?

"We think that dealing with IS is an enormous task. But that it exists is symptomatic of a still more compelling challenge – the disintegration of the near-century-old Western construct that is today's Middle East. Sarah Chayes, author of Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, writes: "Nothing feeds extremism more than the in-your-face corruption and injustice" suffered by the people of so many of Washington's closest allies in the region."

Yes, corruption feed discontentment, but "extremism"? Not really. 

But give faith and a gun to poor sods under the age of 25, they don't need to understand what corruption is or does... They get fed, indoctrinated against something — could be tomatoes or evil fruit — uniformed and polarised, rather than wondering what their life in the gutter of no-prospect is going to be... Easy choice. They become primed to become extremists, just with the words: Islam and State, in which becoming aggressive is a way to be superior (being someone versus being a poor sod). And some women love this "macho". They also join the cause, though some women are forced into it and they have no recourse.

So what do we do? Back to the question which I believe Paul McGeough has no answer for. But he mentions an article where "the implosion of Saudi Arabia..." is suggested... Would that be enough?

My guess is "not enough". We mucked up Libya as well... The Saudis are strong, laughing at us while controlling very well their own destiny with some sticks. 

We also think with our own testosterones. They pollute our brains. We send more troops to "train" troops that already have had 10 years of army training and would now be mostly Shia. So we're helping one brand of polarised religious nuts against the other. Because? 

The IS people are bad news, they do beheading, kill Christians, demolish old cultural symbols... They defy us — deliberately. They tempt us to do something stupid... 

Unless we're prepared to do something MASSIVELY stupid but efective to shut them up, there is bugger all we can do. Anything else might be "good for the soul" (I don't believe in the soul) but in reality it would be like pissing in the wind.

When people become "extremists" under whatever brand of faith, they become impossible to dislodge, especially in the short term. 

The faith driven revolution becomes a habit of gore, boots and indoctrination, even when there is nothing to fight anymore, there are new fights developing in the minds of the ruling psychos — often targeting the viscera of the revolution itself. The French revolution is an example of willy-nilly executions used to maintain the fear in a disorderly order, until a little general saw an opportunity for glory by fighting other countries, or other "alien" groups. Hitler saw it too. 

But it is easier to defeat an "organised" fighting troop under the rules of war, than defeat "barbaric hordes" of young men with the fear of god in their butt and the promise of recompense in their eyes. It's complicated but it's the crux of the matter...

Thus, a strict faith is essential to maintain the value of IS. The reconstruction of the territory (state) as a non-capitalistic, camel-trading, enslaving society, becomes similar to the original values that helped the Saudi kings become who they are (remember Lawrence of whatever). Softening on the social edges does not come instantly in such circumstances. Harsh realities take years to find a smiling outlook, after the dust settles... 

But presently, IT WON'T SETTLE BECAUSE SOME IDIOT DECLARED "WAR ON TERROR". And we're still buying this tainted concept... Anger and aggression drives the testosterone. And the more you try to chase the  "extremists", the more empowered the testosteroned-clowns become.

Gus proposes to stop this misdirected manhood by showering the IS controlled cities with oestrogen and pure ethyl alcohol (ethanol) — and a few pig carcasses for good measure. Or lace their coffee with such compounds, as long as it does not leech into the rivers and pollute the oceans...

Otherwise, we can do nothing but contain the spread of religious stupidity (fervour), including our own. Faith is our stupidity in purpose.

Faith is the damnation of Faust... Without faith there is no hell, no heaven either, but a little planet that we should care about, before, without any inbuilt spacial revenge, it bites us in the bum...

Idiots? Yes we are....


Gus Leonisky

You Middle Earth expert


the dark sunni side...

... Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, the retired former vice commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, who said of the nuclear accord: “What I don’t like about this is, the number one leading radical Islamic group in the world is the Iranians. They are purveyors of radical Islam throughout the region and throughout the world. And we are going to enable them to get nuclear weapons.”

Sorry, General, but the title greatest “purveyors of radical Islam” does not belong to the Iranians. Not even close. That belongs to our putative ally Saudi Arabia.

When it comes to Iran’s involvement in terrorism, I have no illusions: I covered firsthand the 1983 suicide bombings of the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, both believed to be the handiwork of Iran’s cat’s paw, Hezbollah. Iran’s terrorism, though — vis-à-vis the U.S. — has always been of the geopolitical variety: war by other means to push the U.S. out of the region so Iran can dominate it, not us.

I support the Iran nuclear deal because it reduces the chances of Iran building a bomb for 15 years and creates the possibility that Iran’s radical religious regime can be moderated through more integration with the world.

But if you think Iran is the only source of trouble in the Middle East, you must have slept through 9/11, when 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Nothing has been more corrosive to the stability and modernization of the Arab world, and the Muslim world at large, than the billions and billions of dollars the Saudis have invested since the 1970s into wiping out the pluralism of Islam — the Sufi, moderate Sunni and Shiite versions — and imposing in its place the puritanical, anti-modern, anti-women, anti-Western, anti-pluralistic Wahhabi Salafist brand of Islam promoted by the Saudi religious establishment.

It is not an accident that several thousand Saudis have joined the Islamic State or that Arab Gulf charities have sent ISIS donations. It is because all these Sunni jihadist groups — ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Nusra Front — are the ideological offspring of the Wahhabism injected by Saudi Arabia into mosques and madrasas from Morocco to Pakistan to Indonesia.

And we, America, have never called them on that — because we’re addicted to their oil and addicts never tell the truth to their pushers.

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I trust you would know by now that we've been on this case for a while... Read from top.

saudi oil more important than christians in the middle east?

The woman’s voice rose higher and began to crack. It broke through the apparent frustration—and to a lesser extent, anger—which permeated the packed room at the National Press Club in Washington last week.

“We are being massacred and I don’t know how much further we can go,” she said, the tears finally coming. Murmurs and nods, then applause, rushed in with a sort of catharsis. Nahren Anweya was among friends.

An Assyrian Christian activist, Anweya says she has family living under persecution by the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq. She had taken the microphone at a press conference held in Washington by In Defense of Christians (IDC), which brings together scholars, elected officials, advocates, and clergy to discuss urgent threats to their faith in the Middle East. They meet once a year to lobby Congress, and include the most ancient of Christians—the ethnic Assyrians, who still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus—along with the Syriacs, Chaldean Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Copts, Maronites, Melkite Greek Catholic, Protestants and more.

Beyond the ongoing conflict in Iraq, which has driven tens of thousands of Christians out of the region since 2003, the issue has taken on a particular urgency as the Islamic State has accelerated brutal attacks and kidnappings of minority Christians in Iraq and Syria. Families have been sent into hiding and across borders.

The New York Times recently asked, “Is this the end of Christianity in the Middle East?” For many at the conference this week, such statements are the canary in the proverbial coal mine. To them, time is running out. The pre-2003 Christian population in Iraq numbered about 1.5 million. Today, it is less than 300,000 and shrinking rapidly. In Syria, Christians once accounted for 10 percent of the population, but today their numbers have declined to an estimated 1 million or less. ISIS and other Muslim insurgents target them not only for their faith, but for their traditional support of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has in turn insulated them. Years ago the Christians there thrived; in recent months, however, that sanctuary has proven brittle: Most recently, after a summer of kidnappings and killings, 150 Christians were taken from the town of Qaryatain after it was seized by IS soldiers from government forces in August. Word quickly spread of women and children who were raped and sold into slavery.

“The world has watched and witnessed the targeted persecution of Christians, suffering violence, displacement, rape, enslavement, and even death,” said Kirsten Evans, executive director of IDC. “Do these crimes constitute genocide under international law, and if so, what the so what are the options the international community has in order to respond?”

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The true question here "is the Saudi oil more important than Christian in the middle East?"

Read from top

funding IS...




Samuel Oakford has further details on the U.S. role in blocking an investigation into war crimes in Yemen:

A Dutch-led effort to create a human rights mission for Yemen was abandoned Wednesday amid intense Saudi opposition at the UN, but human rights experts are laying blame in part at the feet of the United States, which failed to vigorously back the Netherlands — and may have worked behind the scenes to head off the independent investigation.

According to Oakford’s report, the U.S. paid lip service to supporting the Dutch resolution, but then “simply let it die.” It’s not exactly shocking that our government wasn’t willing to back up an effort to investigate war crimes in a conflict in which its clients have been committing multiple violations of international law for months with U.S. help. Nonetheless, it’s important to understand the lengths to which the U.S. is prepared to go to back up the indefensible Saudi-led campaign. The U.S. has once again shamefully aided the Saudis and their allies yet again in their reckless intervention. In this case, the administration is aiding them in covering up the coalition’s excesses and abuses.

This part of the article sums things up pretty well:

“The resolution tabled by the Arab group represents a shameful capitulation to Saudi Arabia and has denied Yemeni victims their first real opportunity for justice,” said Balkees Jarrah, senior council at Human Rights Watch. “By failing to establish a UN inquiry, the Human Rights Council has squandered an opportunity to deter ongoing abuses in Yemen.”

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tehran vs riyadh...


Riyadh should put up with Tehran's growing role in the region as it is "the result of natural developments", the Iranian Foreign Ministry said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Saudi Arabia must come to terms with the fact that Iran has increased its influence in the region and abandon inappropriate behavior because Tehran's patience is not limitless, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Tuesday.

"If certain developments have happened in Iraq that have increased Iran's weight in the region compared with Saudi Arabia, it is not a result of Iran's interest in imposing its hegemony, but the result of natural developments in the region. If Saudi Arabia cannot bear these developments, it is not our fault… We hope that it can overcome this symptom and start constructive interactions with its neighbors, specially Iran," Qassemi was quoted as saying by FARS news agency.

He added that the Saudi Arabian approach is unacceptable and "any country had a limited degree of patience and tolerance."

Earlier in August, the Arab Human Rights Forum, an Arab Gulf parliamentary initiative, held a meeting dedicated to the "Iranian threats."


Read from top.... This of course is what the Syrian war is about. The Saudis want to take Syria over by discreet and not so discreet means including support for Salafist mercenaries ("moderate" Sunnis, Al Qaeda, al Nusra, ISIS)...


a hidden radicalization program...

A senior Al-Qaeda operative told a parole board at Guantanamo Bay that Saudi Arabia’s lauded “rehabilitation” center, which uses art therapy other methods to de-radicalize convicted terrorists, in reality appears to be a “hidden radicalization program.” 

“You guys want to send me back to Saudi Arabia because you believe there is a de-radicalization program on the surface. True. You are 100 percent right, there is a strong… externally, a strong de-radicalization program,” a Saudi detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi, told a Gitmo parole board (which assesses whether Guantanamo prisoners can be released) at his hearing earlier this year, according to recently declassified documents.

“But make no mistake, underneath there is a hidden radicalization program,” al-Sharbi added, referring to the Saudi terrorist reform facility, officially known as the Prince Mohammed bin Naif Counseling and Care Center.

The Riyadh rehab center, which has been compared to a resort, spreads over an area equivalent to around 10 football pitches (over 10 hectares) and includes an Olympic-size swimming pool, table tennis, a sauna, a gym and a television hall. As a bonus for good behavior, the prisoners get breaks in apartments reserved for conjugal visits with their other halves.

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wahhabi radicalization of kosovo...


Die Linke politician Sevim Dagdelen asked the German government why it continues to enable the "scandalous" Saudi mission to proselytize Wahhabism in Kosovo, under the nose of the NATO-led Kosovo Force.


Saudi Arabia is sending Wahhabi preachers to Kosovo in a bid to further radicalize the local population, the German government said on Wednesday.



Answering a parliamentary question tabled by Sevim Dagdelen, a representative of Die Linke in the German Bundestag, the German government acknowledged the increasing influence of Wahhabism in Kosovo.

"Saudi Arabian missionary organizations are also active in Kosovo and are spreading the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, which Saudi Arabia represents, for example by sending preachers," the government responded, Die Welt reported.

In addition, Germany said that "the continuous involvement of Arab donors — individuals, non-governmental organizations as well as state and semi-governmental institutions is detectable in the Islamic community of Kosovo."

Sevim Dagdelen, a representative of Die Linke in the German Bundestag who tabled the parliamentary question, called the increasing Islamic radicalization of Kosovo "scandalous," particularly given that it has taken place under the auspices of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR).

The 45,000 strong KFOR entered Kosovo in June 1999, following NATO's 78-day campaign of airstrikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which forced Belgrade to withdraw all its army and police units from Kosovo.


The politician called on the government to acknowledge the large numbers of Islamic terrorists who come from Kosovo. According to an analysis by the US-based National Bureau of Economic Research, Kosovo is ranked fifth per capita for ISIS [Daesh] foreign fighters. It contributes the most ISIS fighters per capita of any European country, followed by Bosnia and Macedonia.

Dagdelen urged the federal government is "not to keep sugarcoating the situation in Kosovo and keeping the public in the dark about concrete recruitment figures for Islamic terrorist networks like IS [Daesh] and other organizations in the KFOR area."

In its response, the German government also touched on the increasing influence of Turkey in the Balkan region.


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See from top...


a do-not-go-to-jail card for the saudis...


This interview with Prince Khaled bin Salman, the new Saudi ambassador to the U.S., is a frustrating example of how little scrutiny and criticism the Saudis tend to face in Western media. The ambassador is naturally going to recite his government’s talking points, and no one expects anything else, so it is up to the interviewer to press him on the subjects where he dissembles or misleads the audience. On the whole, that never happens, and the Post‘s readership isn’t much more informed than they were at the beginning.

For instance, when the ambassador refers repeatedly to Iranian “expansionism” in the region, it would have been fair for the interviewer to ask for examples of said expansionism or to point out that it is his government that is waging a war against one of its neighbors in a transparent bid to install a puppet ruler. Khaled bin Salman criticizes Iran’s support for terrorism, but he doesn’t face any questions about the role that the Saudi-led war on Yemen has had in strengthening Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or the collaboration between AQAP forces and the coalition during the war.

The war on Yemen is addressed briefly, but it is discussed in a way that allows the ambassador to recite the Saudi propaganda version of the war without challenge. The ambassador asserts that the Houthis must “become part of Yemen, not part of Iran.” Instead of pushing back on this obvious bit of nonsense by observing that Iran’s role in the conflict has been negligible or that the Houthis aren’t actually Iranian proxies, the interviewer just moves on to the next question. The coalition blockade led by the Saudis and the enormous humanitarian catastrophe that the ambassador’s government has helped to create go entirely unmentioned. The words famine and cholera are nowhere to be found in the excerpts, and the indiscriminate bombing campaign likewise doesn’t rate a question.

That kid-gloves approach may have been a condition of being granted the interview, or maybe it wasn’t, but either way the ambassador wasn’t forced to answer for his government’s outrageous policies. The result is that the Saudi ambassador is given a prominent platform to spread misinformation without any real accountability, and that makes it that much easier for his government to get away with their appalling treatment of Yemen.

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Read from top... Saudi supported ISIS in Iraq and Syria is being defeated — mostly because THE RUSSIANS came into Syria with invitation from the Syrian government to help defeat ALL FORMS OF TERRORISM, including the "rebels" (Al Qaeda and Al Nusra) supported by the USA.


a putin blot in the arabian landscape...

What a difference a year – an eternity in geopolitics – makes. No one could see this coming; the ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi-jihadi terror – which Russia fights no holds barred, from ISIS/Daesh to the Caucasus Emirate – beating a path to the Kremlin and about to embrace Russia as a strategic ally.

The House of Saud was horrified by Russia’s successful campaign to prevent regime change in Syria. Moscow was solidifying its alliance with Tehran. Hawks in the Obama administration were imposing on Saudi Arabia a strategy of keeping oil prices down to hurt the Russian economy.

Now, losing all its battles from Syria to Yemen, losing regional influence to both Iran and Turkey, indebted, vulnerable and paranoid, the House of Saud has also to confront the ghost of a possible coup in Riyadh against Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, as Asia Times reported. Under so much pressure, who’re you gonna call?

The ultimate ghostbuster; Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Essentially, the House of Saud is obsessed by three main vectors; low oil prices; Iran and Shi’ism; and what to make of US foreign policy under Trump. Let’s take them one by one.

I want my S-400s

As much as a Moscow-Washington reset remains doomed, even with the implosion of Russia-Gate, House of Saud advisers must have known that the Kremlin won’t ditch its strategic relationship with Iran – one of the key nodes of Eurasia integration.

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the myth of an enduring Iranian support for Al Qaeda...


For many years, major U.S. institutions ranging from the Pentagon to the 9/11 Commission have been pushing the line that Iran secretly cooperated with Al Qaeda both before and after the 9/11 terror attacks. But the evidence for those claims remained either secret or sketchy, and always highly questionable.

In early November, however, the mainstream media claimed to have its “smoking gun”—a CIA document written by an unidentified Al Qaeda official and released in conjunction with 47,000 never-before-seen documents seized from Osama bin Laden’s house in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The Associated Press reported that the Al Qaeda document “appears to bolster U.S. claims that Iran supported the extremist network leading up to the September 11 terror attacks.” The Wall Street Journal said the document “provides new insights into Al Qaeda’s relationship with Iran, suggesting a pragmatic alliance that emerged out of shared hatred of the United States and Saudi Arabia.”

NBC News wrote that the document reveals that, “at various points in the relationship… Iran offered Al Qaeda help in the form of ‘money, arms’ and “training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon in exchange for striking American interests in the Gulf,” implying that Al Qaeda had declined the offer. Former Obama National Security Council spokesman Ned Price, writing for The Atlantic, went even further, asserting that the document includes an account of “a deal with Iranian authorities to host and train Saudi-Al Qaeda members as long as they have agreed to plot against their common enemy, American interests in the Gulf region.”

But none of those media reports were based on any careful reading of the document’s contents. The 19-page Arabic-language document, which was translated in full for TAC, doesn’t support the media narrative of new evidence of Iran-Al Qaeda cooperation, either before or after 9/11, at all. It provides no evidence whatsoever of tangible Iranian assistance to Al Qaeda. On the contrary, it confirms previous evidence that Iranian authorities quickly rounded up those Al Qaeda operatives living in the country when they were able to track them down, and held them in isolation to prevent any further contact with Al Qaeda units outside Iran.

What it shows is that the Al Qaeda operatives were led to believe Iran was friendly to their cause and were quite taken by surprise when their people were arrested in two waves in late 2002. It suggests that Iran had played them, gaining the fighters’ trust while maximizing intelligence regarding Al Qaeda’s presence in Iran. 

Nevertheless, this account, which appears to have been written by a mid-level Al Qaeda cadre in 2007, appears to bolster an internal Al Qaeda narrative that the terror group rejected Iranian blandishments and were wary of what they saw as untrustworthiness on the part of the Iranians. The author asserts the Iranians offered Saudi Al Qaeda members who had entered the country “money and arms, anything they need, and training with Hezbollah in exchange for hitting American interests in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.”

But there is no word about whether any Iranian arms or money were ever actually given to Al Qaeda fighters. And the author acknowledges that the Saudis in question were among those who had been deported during sweeping arrests, casting doubt over whether there was ever any deal in the offing.

The author suggests Al Qaeda rejected Iranian assistance on principle. “We don’t need them,” he insisted. “Thanks to God, we can do without them, and nothing can come from them but evil.”

That theme is obviously important to maintaining organizational identity and morale. But later in the document, the author expresses deep bitterness about what they obviously felt was Iranian double-dealing in 2002 to 2003. “They are ready to play-act,” he writes of the Iranians. “Their religion is lies and keeping quiet. And usually they show what is contrary to what is in their mind…. It is hereditary with them, deep in their character.”

The author recalls that Al Qaeda operatives were ordered to move to Iran in March 2002, three months after they had left Afghanistan for Waziristan or elsewhere in Pakistan (the document, by the way, says nothing of any activity in Iran before 9/11). He acknowledges that most of his cadres entered Iran illegally, although some of them obtained visas from the Iranian consulate in Karachi.

Among the latter was Abu Hafs al Mauritani, an Islamic scholar who was ordered by the leadership shura in Pakistan to seek Iranian permission for Al Qaeda fighters and families to pass through Iran or to stay there for an extended period. He was accompanied by middle and lower-ranking cadres, including some who worked for Abu Musab al Zarqawi. The account clearly suggests that Zarqawi himself had remained in hiding after entering Iran illegally.

Abu Hafs al Mauratani did reach an understanding with Iran, according to the Al Qaeda account, but it had nothing to do with providing arms or money. It was a deal that allowed them to remain for some period or to pass through the country, but only on the condition that they observe very strict security conditions: no meetings, no use of cell phones, no movements that would attract attention. The account attributes those restrictions to Iranian fears of U.S. retribution—which was undoubtedly part of the motivation. But it is clear Iran viewed Al Qaeda as an extremist Salafist security threat to itself as well.

The anonymous Al Qaeda operative’s account is a crucial piece of information in light of the neoconservatives’ insistence that Iran had fully cooperated with Al Qaeda. The document reveals that it was more complicated than that. If Iranian authorities had refused to receive the Abu Hafs group traveling with passport on friendly terms, it would have been far more difficult to gather intelligence on the Al Qaeda figures who they knew had entered illegally and were hiding. With those legal Al Qaeda visitors under surveillance, they have could identify, locate and ultimately round up the hidden Al Qaeda, as well as those who came with passports.

Most of the Al Qaeda visitors, according to the Al Qaeda document, settled in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan Province where the majority of the population are Sunnis and speak Baluchi. They generally violated the security restrictions imposed by the Iranians. They established links with the Baluchis—who he notes were also Salafists—and began holding meetings. Some of them even made direct contact by phone with Salafist militants in Chechnya, where a conflict was rapidly spiraling out of control. Saif al-Adel, one of the leading Al Qaeda figures in Iran at the time, later revealed that the Al Qaeda fighting contingent under Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s command immediately began reorganizing to return to Afghanistan.

The first Iranian campaign to round up Al Qaeda personnel, which the author of the documents says was focused on Zahedan, came in May or June 2002—no more than three months after they have had entered Iran. Those arrested were either jailed or deported to their home countries. The Saudi Foreign Minister praised Iran in August for having transferred 16 Al Qaeda suspects to the Saudi government in June.

In February 2003 Iranian security launched a new wave of arrests. This time they captured three major groups of Al Qaeda operatives in Tehran and Mashad, including Zarqawi and other top leaders in the country, according to the document. Saif al Adel later revealed in a post on a pro-Al Qaeda website in 2005 (reported in the Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat), that the Iranians had succeeded in capturing 80 percent of the group associated with Zarqawi, and that it had “caused the failure of 75 percent of our plan.”  

The anonymous author writes that the initial Iran policy was to deport those arrested and that Zarqawi was allowed to go to Iraq (where he plotted attacks on Shia and coalition forces until his death in 2006). But then, he says, the policy suddenly changed and the Iranians stopped deportations, instead opting to keep the Al Qaeda senior leadership in custody—presumably as bargaining chips. Yes, Iran deported 225 Al Qaeda suspects to other countries, including Saudi Arabia, in 2003. But the Al Qaeda leaders were held in Iran, not as bargaining chips, but under tight security to prevent them from communicating with the Al Qaeda networks elsewhere in the region, which Bush administration officials eventually acknowledged.

After the arrests and imprisonment of senior al Qaeda figures, the Al Qaeda leadership became increasingly angry at Iran.  In November 2008, unknown gunmen abducted an Iran consular official in Peshawar, Pakistan, and in July 2013, al Qaeda operatives in Yemen kidnapped an Iranian diplomat. In March 2015, Iran reportedly released five of the senior al Qaeda in prison, including Said al-Adel, in return for the release of the diplomat in Yemen.  In a document taken from the Abbottabad compound and published by West Point’s Counter-Terrorism Center in 2012, a senior Al Qaeda official wrote, “We believe that our efforts, which included escalating a political and media campaign, the threats we made, the kidnapping of their friend the commercial counselor in the Iranian Consulate in Peshawar, and other reasons that scared them based on what they saw (we are capable of), to be among the reasons that led them to expedite (the release of these prisoners).”

There was a time when Iran did view Al Qaeda as an ally.  It was during and immediately after the war of the mujahedin against Soviet troops in Afghanistan. That, of course, was the period when the CIA was backing bin Laden’s efforts as well. But after the Taliban seized power in Kabul in 1996— and especially after Taliban troops killed 11 Iranian diplomats in Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998—the Iranian view of Al Qaeda changed fundamentally. Since then, Iran has clearly regarded it as an extreme sectarian terrorist organization and its sworn enemy. What has not changed is the determination of the U.S. national security state and the supporters of Israel to maintain the myth of an enduring Iranian support for Al Qaeda.

Gareth Porter is an independent journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of numerous books, including Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare (Just World Books, 2014).

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Read from top, when the Sunni Daesh (IS, ISIL, ISIS) under the Wahhabi religious dictum of Saudi Arabia was taking over parts of Iraq and Syria... with the blessing — and help — of the USA, as it financed "moderate" Sunni rebels in Syria. Syria would thus become a de-facto dominion of Saudi Arabia and be able to lay a gas pipeline through Syria to Europe and stuff up the Russian economy. The Russians did not see this too well and knew what game was being played out. Now ...


Speaking to the press after his meeting with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts in Sochi on Wednesday, President Putin said the peace talks in Astana and the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria have made possible a fundamentally "new stage" in the Syrian settlement, and helped secure a "breakthrough" opportunity to crush the terrorists.

In the course of their meeting, presidents Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani and Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the progress that has been made in the Syrian settlement process, and the steps necessary to ensure the complete and long-term normalization of the political and security situation in the country.

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See also:


See also: 


spring cleaning in the middle east...


See also:


Trump Trashes Iran Deal to Satisfy Netanyahu


Posted on October 20, 2017

U.S-Iran policy is closer to Israel than it has been in years.

When Did Congress Vote to Aid the Saudi’s Yemen War?


Posted on October 2, 2017

Lawmakers use War Powers Act to finally question legality of U.S. involvement.

How CIA and Allies Trapped Obama in the Syrian Arms Debacle


Posted on July 27, 2017

And why it ultimately benefitted terrorists like Al Qaeda.

How America Armed Terrorists in Syria


Posted on June 22, 2017

Another Middle East debacle



god loves the rich...

by Andre Vltchek 

When the Saudi Crown Prince gave an interview to the Washington Post, declaring that it was actually the West that encouraged his country to spread Wahhabism to all corners of the world, there was a long silence in almost all the mass media outlets in the West, but also in countries such as Egypt and Indonesia.

Those who read the statement, expected a determined rebuke from Riyadh. It did not come. The sky did not fall. Lightning did not strike the Prince or the Post.

Clearly, not all that the Crown Prince declared appeared on the pages of the Washington Post, but what actually did, would be enough to bring down entire regimes in such places like Indonesia, Malaysia or Brunei. Or at least it would be enough under ‘normal circumstances’. That is, if the population there was not already hopelessly and thoroughly indoctrinated and programed, and if the rulers in those countries did not subscribe to, or tolerate, the most aggressive, chauvinistic and ritualistic (as opposed to the intellectual or spiritual) form of the religion.

Reading between the lines, the Saudi Prince suggested that it was actually the West which, while fighting an ‘ideological war’ against the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, handpicked Islam and its ultra-orthodox and radical wing – Wahhabism – as an ally in destroying almost all the progressive, anti-imperialist and egalitarian aspirations in the countries with a Muslim majority.

As reported by RT on 28 March 2018:

“The Saudi-funded spread of Wahhabism began as a result of Western countries asking Riyadh to help counter the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Washington Post.

Speaking to the paper, bin Salman said that Saudi Arabia’s Western allies urged the country to invest in mosques and madrassas overseas during the Cold War, in an effort to prevent encroachment in Muslim countries by the Soviet Union…

The interview with the crown prince was initially held ‘off the record’. However, the Saudi embassy later agreed to let the Washington Post publish specific portions of the meeting.”

Since the beginning of the spread of Wahhabism, one country after another had been falling; ruined by ignorance, fanatical zeal and fear, which have been preventing the people of countries such as post-1965 Indonesia or the post-Western-invasion Iraq, to move back (to the era before Western intervention) and at the same time forward, towards something that used to be so natural to their culture in not such a distant past – towards socialism or at least tolerant secularism.


In reality, Wahhabism does not have much to do with Islam. Or more precisely, it intercepts and derails the natural development of Islam, of its strife for an egalitarian arrangement of the world, and for socialism.

The Brits were behind the birth of the movement; the Brits and one of the most radical, fundamentalist and regressive preachers of all times Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab

The essence of the Wahabi/British alliance and dogma was and still is, extremely simple:

Religious leaders would force the people into terrible, irrational fear and consequent submission. No criticism of the religion is allowed; no questioning of its essence and particularly of the conservative and archaic interpretation of the Book. Once conditioned this way, people stopped questioning and criticizing first the feudalist, and later capitalist oppression; they also accepted without blinking the plunder of their natural resources by local and foreign masters. All attempts to build a socialist and egalitarian society got deterred, brutally, ‘in the name of Islam’ and ‘in the name of God’”.

Of course, as a result, the Western imperialists and the local servile ‘elites’ are laughing all the way to the bank, at the expense of those impoverished and duped millions in the countries that are controlled by the Wahhabi and Western dogmas.

Only a few in the devastated, colonized countries actually realize that Wahhabism does not serve God or the people; it is helping Western interests and greed.

Precisely this is what is right now happening in Indonesia, but also in several other countries that have been conquered by the West, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

Were Syria to fall, this historically secular and socially-oriented nation would be forced into the same horrid direction. People there are well aware of this, as they are educated. They also see what has happened to Libya and Iraq and they definitely do not want to end up like them. It is the Wahhabi terrorist fighters that both the West and its lackeys like Saudi Arabia unleashed against the Syrian state and its people.


Despite its hypocritical secular rhetoric, manufactured mainly for local consumption but not for the colonies, the West is glorifying or at least refusing to openly criticize its own brutal and ‘anti-people’ offspring – a concept which has already consumed and ruined both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. In fact, it is trying to convince the world that these two countries are ‘normal’, and in the case of Indonesia, both ‘democratic’ and ‘tolerant’. At the same time, it has consistently been antagonizing almost all the secular or relatively secular nations with substantial Muslim majorities, such as Syria (until now), but also Afghanistan, Iran (prior to the coup of 1953), Iraq and Libya before they were thoroughly and brutally smashed.

It is because the state, in which the KSA, Indonesia and the present-day Afghanistan can be found, is the direct result of both Western interventions and indoctrination. The injected Wahhabi dogma is giving this Western ‘project’ a Muslim flavor, while justifying trillions of dollars on ‘defense spending’ for the so-called ‘War on Terror’ (a concept resembling an Asian fishing pond where fish are brought in and then fished out for a fee).

Obedience, even submissiveness – is where, for many reasons, the West wants its ‘client’ states and neo-colonies to be. The KSA is an important trophy because of its oil, and strategic position in the region. Saudi rulers are often going out of their way to please their masters in London and Washington, implementing the most aggressive pro-Western foreign policy. Afghanistan is ‘valued’ for its geographical location, which could potentially allow the West to intimidate and even eventually invade both Iran and Pakistan, while inserting extremist Muslim movements into China, Russia and the former Soviet Central Asian republics. Between 1 and 3 million Indonesian people ‘had to be’ massacred in 1965-66, in order to bring to power a corrupt turbo-capitalist clique which could guarantee that the initially bottomless (although now rapidly thinning) natural resources could flow, uninterrupted and often untaxed, into places such as North America, Europe, Japan and Australia.

Frankly, there is absolutely nothing ‘normal’ about countries such as Indonesia and the KSA. In fact, it would take decades, but most likely entire generations, in order to return them to at least some sort of nominal ‘normalcy’. Even if the process were to begin soon, the West hopes that by the time it ends, almost all of the natural resources of these countries would be gone.

But the process is not yet even beginning. The main reason for the intellectual stagnation and lack or resistance is obvious: people in countries such as Indonesia and KSA are conditioned so they are not able to see the brutal reality that surrounds them. They are indoctrinated and ‘pacified’. They have been told that socialism equals atheism and that atheism is evil, illegal and ‘sinful’.

Hence, Islam was modified by the Western and Saudi demagogues, and has been ‘sent to a battle’, against progress and a just, egalitarian arrangement of the world.

This version of religion is unapologetically defending Western imperialism, savage capitalism as well as the intellectual and creative collapse of the countries into which it was injected, including Indonesia. There, in turn, the West tolerates the thorough corruption, grotesque lack of social services, and even genocides and holocausts committed first against the Indonesians themselves, then against the people of East Timor, and to this day against the defenseless Papuan men, women and children. And it is not only a ‘tolerance’ – the West participates directly in these massacres and extermination campaigns, as it also takes part in spreading the vilest forms of Wahabi terrorism and dogmas to all corners of the world. . All this, while tens of millions of the followers of Wahhabism are filling the mosques daily, performing mechanical rituals without any deeper thought or soul searching.

Wahhabism works – it works for the mining companies and banks with their headquarters in London and New York. It also works extremely well for the rulers and the local ‘elites’ inside the ‘client’ states.


Ziauddin Sardar, a leading Muslim scholar from Pakistan, who is based in London, has no doubts that ‘Muslim fundamentalism’ is, to a great extent, the result of the Western imperialism and colonialism.

In a conversation which we had several years ago, he explained:

Trust between Islam and the West has indeed been broken… We need to realize that colonialism did much more than simply damage Muslim nations and cultures. It played a major part in the suppression and eventual disappearance of knowledge and learning, thought and creativity, from Muslim cultures. The colonial encounter began by appropriating the knowledge and learning of Islam, which became the basis of the ‘European Renaissance’ and ‘the Enlightenment’ and ended by eradicating this knowledge and learning from both from Muslim societies and from history itself. It did that both by physical elimination – destroying and closing down institutions of learning, banning certain types of indigenous knowledge, killing off local thinkers and scholars – and by rewriting history as the history of western civilization into which all minor histories of other civilization are subsumed.

As a consequence, Muslim cultures were de-linked from their own history with many serious consequences. For example, the colonial suppression of Islamic science led to the displacement of scientific culture from Muslim society. It did this by introducing new systems of administration, law, education and economy all of which were designed to impart dependence, compliance and subservience to the colonial powers. The decline of Islamic science and learning is one aspect of the general economic and political decay and deterioration of Muslim societies. Islam has thus been transformed from a dynamic culture and a holistic way of life to mere rhetoric. Islamic education has become a cul-de-sac, a one-way ticket to marginality. It also led to the conceptual reduction of Muslim civilization. By which I mean concepts that shaped and gave direction to Muslim societies became divorced from the actual daily lives of Muslims – leading to the kind of intellectual impasse that we find in Muslim societies today. Western neo-colonialism perpetuates that system.


In Indonesia, after the Western-sponsored military coup of 1965, which destroyed the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) and brought to power an extreme pro-market and pro-Western regime, things are deteriorating with a frightening predictability, consistency and speed.

While the fascist dictator Suharto, a Western implant after 1965, was said to be ‘suspicious of Islam’, he actually used all major religions on his archipelago with great precision and fatal impact. During his pro-market despotism, all left-wing movements and ‘-isms’ were banned, and so were most of the progressive forms of arts and thought. The Chinese language was made illegal. Atheism was also banned. Indonesia rapidly became one of the most religious countries on Earth.

At least one million people, including members of the PKI, were brutally massacred in one of the most monstrous genocides of the 20th century.

The fascist dictatorship of General Suharto often played the Islamic card for its political ends. As described by John Pilger in his book, “The New Rulers of The World”:

In the pogroms of 1965-66, Suharto’s generals often used Islamicist groups to attack communists and anybody who got in the way. A pattern emerged; whenever the army wanted to assert its political authority, it would use Islamicists in acts of violence and sabotage, so that sectarianism could be blamed and justify the inevitable ‘crackdown’ – by the army…”

‘A fine example’ of cooperation between the murderous right-wing dictatorship and radical Islam.

After Suharto stepped down, the trend towards a grotesque and fundamentalist interpretation of the monotheist religions continued. Saudi Arabia and the Western-favored and sponsored Wahhabism has been playing an increasingly significant role. And so has Christianity, often preached by radical right-wing former exiles from Communist China and their offspring; mainly in the city of Surabaya but also elsewhere.

From a secular and progressive nation under the leadership of President Sukarno, Indonesia has gradually descended into an increasingly radically backward-looking and bigoted Wahhabi-style/Christian Pentecostal state.

After being forced to resign as the President of Indonesia during what many considered a constitutional coup, a progressive Muslim cleric and undoubtedly a closet socialist, Abdurrahman Wahid (known in Indonesia by his nickname Gus Dur), shared with me his thoughts, on the record:

These days, most of Indonesian people do not care or think about God. They only follow rituals. If God would descend and tell them that their interpretation of Islam is wrong, they’d continue following this form of Islam and ignore the God.”

Gus Dur’ also clearly saw through all the tricks of the military and pro-Western elites. He told me, among other things, that the 2003 Marriott Hotel bombing in Jakarta was organized by the Indonesian security forces, and later blamed on the Islamists, who were actually only executing the orders given to them by their political bosses from the pro-Western military regime, which until now is being disguised as a, ‘multi-party democracy’.

In Indonesia, an extreme and unquestioning obedience to the religions has led to a blind acceptance of a fascist capitalist system, and of Western imperialism and its propaganda. Creativity and intellectual pluralism have been thoroughly liquidated.

The 4th most populous nation on the planet, Indonesia, has presently no scientists, architects, philosophers or artists of any international standing. Its economy is fueled exclusively by the unbridled plunder of the natural resources of the vast, and in the past, pristine parts of the country, such as Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan), as well as on the brutally-occupied Western part of Papua. The scale of the environmental destruction is monumental; something that I am presently trying to capture in two documentary films and a book.

Awareness of the state of things, even among the victims, is minimal or out rightly nonexistent.

In a country that has been robbed of its riches; identity, culture and future, religions now playthe most important role. There is simply nothing else left for the majority. Nihilism, cynicism, corruption and thuggery are ruling unopposed. In the cities with no theatres, galleries, art cinemas, but also no public transportation or even sidewalks, in the monstrous urban centers abandoned to the ‘markets’ with hardly any greenery or public parks, religions are readily filling the emptiness. Being themselves regressive, pro-market oriented and greedy, the results are easily predictable.

In the city of Surabaya, during the capturing of footage for my documentary film produced for a South American television network TeleSur (Surabaya – Eaten Alive by Capitalism), I stumbled over an enormous Protestant Christian gathering at a mall, where thousands of people were in an absolute trance, yelling and lifting their eyes towards the ceiling. A female preacher was shouting into a microphone:

God loves the rich, and that is why they are rich! God hates the poor, and that’s why they are poor!”

Von Hayek, Friedmann, Rockefeller, Wahab and Lloyd George combined could hardly define their ‘ideals’ in more precise way.


What exactly did the Saudi Prince say, during his memorable and ground-breaking interview with The Washington Post? And why is it so relevant to places like Indonesia?

In essence, he said that the West asked the Saudis to make the ‘client’ states more and more religious, by building madrassahs and mosques. He also added:

I believe Islam is sensible, Islam is simple, and people are trying to hijack it.”

People? The Saudi themselves? Clerics in such places like Indonesia? The Western rulers?

In Teheran, Iran, while discussing the problem with numerous religious leaders, I was told, repeatedly:

The West managed to create a totally new and strange religion, and then it injected it into various countries. It calls it Islam, but we can’t recognize it… It is not Islam, not Islam at all.”


In May 2018, in Indonesia, members of outlawed terrorist groups rioted in jail, took hostages, then brutally murdered prison guards. After the rebellion was crushed, several explosions shook East Java. Churches and police stations went up in flames. People died.

The killers used their family members, even children, to perpetrate the attacks. The men in charge were actually inspired by the Indonesian fighters who were implanted into in Syria – the terrorists and murderers who were apprehended and deported by Damascus back to their large and confused country.

Many Indonesian terrorists who fought in Syria are now on their home turf, igniting and ‘inspiring’ their fellow citizens. The same situation as in the past – the Indonesian jihadi cadres who fought against the pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan later returned and killed hundreds and thousands in Poso, Ambon and other parts of Indonesia.

Indonesian extremists are becoming world-famous, fighting the battles of the West as legionnaires, in Afghanistan, Syria, Philippines and elsewhere.

Their influence at home is also growing. It is now impossible to even mention any social or god forbid, socialist reforms in public. Meetings are broken up, participants beaten, and even people’s representatives (MP’s) intimidated, accused of being “communists”, in a country where Communism is still banned by the regime.

The progressive and extremely popular Jakarta governor, Ahok, first lost elections and was then put on trial and thrown into jail for “insulting Islam”, clearly fabricated charges. His main sin – cleaning Jakarta’s polluted rivers, constructing a public transportation network, and improving the lives of ordinary people. That was clearly ‘un-Islamic’, at least from the point of view of Wahhabism and the Western global regime.

Radical Indonesian Islam is now feared. It goes unchallenged. It is gaining ground, as almost no one would dare to openly criticize it. It will soon overwhelm and suppress the entire society.

And in the West ‘political correctness’ is used. It is lately simply ‘impolite’ to criticize Indonesian or even the Saudi form of ‘Islam’, out of ‘respect’ for the people and their ‘culture’. In reality, it is not the Saudi or Indonesian people who get ‘protected’ – it is the West and its imperialist policies; policies and manipulations that are used against both the people and the essence of Muslim religion.


While the Wahhabi/Western dogma is getting stronger and stronger, what is left of the Indonesian forests is burning. The country is literally being plundered by the Western multi-national companies and by its local corrupt elites.

Religions, the Indonesian fascist regime and Western imperialism are marching forward, hand in hand. But forward – where? Most likely towards the total collapse of the Indonesian state. Towards the misery that will come soon, when everything is logged out and mined out.

It is the same, as when Wahhabism used to march hand in hand with the British imperialists and plunderers. Except that the Saudis found their huge oil fields, plenty of oil to sustain themselves (or at least their elites and the middle class, as the poor still live in misery there) and their bizarre, British-inspired and sponsored interpretation of Islam.

Indonesia and other countries that have fallen victims to this dogma are not and will not be so ‘lucky’.

It is lovely that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke publicly and clarified the situation. But who will listen?

For the Indonesian people, his statements came too late. They did not open many eyes, caused no uprising, no revolution. To understand what he said would require at least some basic knowledge of both the local, and world history, and at least some ability to think logically. All this is lacking, desperately, in the countries that have found themselves squashed by the destructive imperialist embrace.

The former President of Indonesia, Abdurrahman Wahid, was correct: 

“If God would come and say… people would not follow God…”

Indonesia will continue following Mr. Wahab, and the capitalist dogma and the Western imperialists who ‘arranged it all’. They will do it for years to come, feeling righteous, blasting old North American tunes in order to fill the silence, in order not to think and not to question what is happening around them. There will be no doubts. There will be no change, no awakening and no revolution.

Until the last tree falls, until the last river and stream gets poisoned, until there is nothing left for the people. Until there is total, absolute submission: until everything is burned down, black and grey. Maybe then, few tiny, humble roots of awakening and resistance would begin to grow.

First published by New Eastern Outlook – NEOAndre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are his tribute to “The Great October Socialist Revolution” a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

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informed in advance of attacks...

Sri Lankan police have arrested a Wahhabi preacher, Mohamed Aliyar, director of the Islamic Guidance Center in Kattankudy, a Muslim-dominated Eastern city.

He would be related to Zahran Hashim, the leader of the operation led by Daesh at Easter, which claimed the lives of nearly 270 people and injured more than 500.

The Islamic Guidance Center, which was attended by the local Daesh leader, is funded by donations from Mohamed Aliyar’s Islamic classmates in Riyadh.

The Hezbollah-based Lebanese newspaper Alahed News has published a facsimile of a cable from the Saudi Foreign Minister to his ambassador to Sri Lanka. It is dated from the April 17, 2019. It says:

«Urgent - Top secret 
To His Excellency Ambassador Abdul Nasser Bin Hussein al-Harethi 
You must immediately take the following steps: 
- 1. You must delete all documents, computer data and the last correspondence with the members and groups at home and abroad, you must also impose a curfew for the embassy staff unless [travel] is necessary. 
- 2. You must inform all those connected with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including advisers, security forces and intelligence services, to avoid any presence in public and overcrowded places, including churches within the next three days, especially that of Easter Christian. 
- 3. You should regularly send written news about the Sri Lankan authorities and their views to this ministry. 
Signed: Ibrahim bin Abdul Aziz al-Assaf, Minister of Foreign Affairs »

The attacks took place on April 21, 2019.

The Saudi official television channel, Al-Arabiya, announced on February 1, 2014, that Daesh was led by Prince Abdul Rahman al-Faisal (brother of the foreign minister at the time).

Following the President Donald Trump’s speech in Riyad, Saudi Arabia withdrew its support for the jihadist organizations. However, we saw with the "Movement for Faith" case, called by the British propaganda, "Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army", that Saudi Arabia was leading the Rohingya terrorism in Myanmar in 2017. Since, a lot of unverified informations indicate a Riyadh’s takeover of the jihadists.

Jean-Louis Scarsi



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despotic diplomacy...

Prince Bandar's World

The Man Behind the Scenes in Saudi Arabia

He has negotiated weapons deals and instigated armed conflicts: Former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan is one of the most influential men behind the scenes in global politics. His job is to increase the kingdom's influence in the world.

By Susanne Koelbl

On my January 2018 visit to Prince Bandar bin Sultan in his palace in Riyadh, he is lounging in an overstuffed, sand-colored armchair, smoking a cigar as thick as a tree branch. Bandar has a broad face with sparkling brown eyes, his dark hands contrast with the white thawb he is wearing along with sandals. His keeps his full beard trimmed short, but even though it has gone gray, it is still something of a trademark.

Bandar's fixes his gaze on two screens, each over one square meter (10 square feet) in size. One of them shows CNN while the other displays a dozen international channels simultaneously, broadcasting from Moscow, Washington, Beirut and Tripoli. This is Bandar's world -- and frequently, he himself is traveling to one of the places shown on the monitors.

In one way or another, the prince has been involved in almost every international crisis over the past four decades. Probably all of them. If there's a person who has an answer to my questions -- how the Cold War ended and extremism came to Afghanistan, why the Americans occupied Iraq and Syrian President Bashar Assad won the war -- then it's this veteran of the diplomatic front lines. Prince Bandar bin Sultan. 

A businessman friend of his helped arrange the meeting.

At 2 p.m., a chauffeur picks me up from my apartment in Riyadh's city center in a black limousine. The journey to Bandar's palace, located just outside of Riyadh, takes 30 minutes. At the end of a long wall, heavy green gates open and the car slides into the grounds. It is a vast area and the palace is a labyrinth of marble corridors decorated with mosaics, handcrafted wooden doors, fountains, lights, flowers and verdant foliage. 

At the time we meet in Riyadh, Prince Bandar is 68 years old, having spent 22 of those years serving as Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States. Until 2014, Bandar headed up the Saudi intelligence service before taking over leadership of the National Security Council. He has provided arms to rebels in South America, in Central Asia and, most recently, in Syria. Working on behalf of the king, he oversaw some of the largest arms deals of all time. At times, he even wound up negotiating the peace settlement of an insurgency he himself had instigated. 

An Unequal Pair

We speak for four hours, a blink of an eye in this breathtaking life. By the end, I have a much better understanding of how Prince Bandar managed to put these two systems -- the one in Riyadh and the one in Washington -- which are so contradictory, essentially irreconcilable, into a kind of permanent mutual enchantment. Not unlike a young married couple where both actually wish they had a different partner and yet pretend to be in love, drunk on an exorbitant dowry that gets bigger every time the relationship grows rocky.

That image of an unequal couple applies at the very least to the time that Bandar spent in Washington, where one president after the other succumbed to his courtship. Even after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in the U.S., even after it became apparent that 15 of the 19 attackers came from Saudi Arabia, Bandar -- who was educated in the U.S. -- managed to give the impression that his country was on the same side of the front lines as America.

"I did as many favors for the Americans as I could when I did not need them, so that they would owe me a favor when I did need them," Prince Bandar says. The diplomat blows thick clouds of smoke from the Cuban cigar into the air as he explains his strategy for success with me.

People who have encountered Prince Bandar describe him as a dazzling figure: They say he is attentive and kind, loyal and funny, but also smart. They say he approaches his work with charm and passion and that he's a brilliant negotiator. When it comes to money, and this is often the case in Bandar's dealings, they say his checks never bounce. 

But it is also said that Badar is a dangerous manipulator who can be threatening, brutal and even destructive in tending to his master's needs. It's a characterization even he might be pleased with. 

A Gray Area

I have spent almost 20 years writing about crises and wars around the world. My work has taken me to the Balkans, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Those reporting on Islamist combat groups in such places will repeatedly stumble across indications that "the Saudis" have provided funding, sent weapons or "bought" politicians. But the shadowy actors from the Gulf never make public appearances. Emissaries like Prince Bandar aren't bound to any parliament and report only to the king in Riyadh. They operate in a gray area between diplomacy and intelligence, outside any protocol and under the radar of the global awareness. But their money, their connections and their interests flow everywhere.

Even in his master's thesis on international relations at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C., Bandar indicated his agreement with the ideas of Italian government philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli, according to which actors should not be held accountable for the moral costs of actions that benefit the common good. One could also say that good and evil do not exist in Bandar's mind -- only the mission. 

A Protective Power

Prince Bandar's mission was quite clear when King Fahd sent the former fighter pilot to Washington as his envoy in 1983. The aim was to win over the Americans as a reliable protective power for the kingdom and to deeply anchor this alliance. 

"The U.S. is our most important ally as well as our greatest threat," King Fahd, his uncle, is said to have told him.

"Why a threat?" I ask. "Because you can't really trust them and they might very well attack you tomorrow, like Saddam Hussein," Bandar explains. Anyone wanting to learn how global politics are conducted in the Middle East will find a good teacher in Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Saudi Arabia became a rich country during the 1970s, but it remains vulnerable. Even though the Saudi weapons arsenal largely consists of cutting-edge Western technology, the royal army alone could hardly ward off a larger attack. And without the Americans' support, the military is almost useless. When a Saudi F-15 fighter jet takes off from King Khalid Air Base in southwest Saudi Arabia for a sortie over Yemen, the aircraft and the bombs come from the U.S. American mechanics maintain the fighter jet and carry out repairs on the ground. And American technicians also update targeting software and other encrypted technologies, which the Saudis aren't even allowed to touch. The pilot has also likely been trained by the United States Air Force.

The Saudi kingdom can only really continue to feel safe as long as the world's largest military power goes on backing the regime. The glue holding this unequal relationship together is co-dependence: the trade of cheap oil in exchange for weapons and military protection. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is the main reason cars are able to drive, machines can be operated and apartments kept warm in the winter in the West. In return, Riyadh enjoys the security alliance with the U.S. 

Decreasing Dependence

But fossil fuels like oil are rapidly losing importance. Fracking has made the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil production. The oil price is persistently low. 

The link that has held the two powers together for decades is still there, but it is no longer as strong as it used to be. Suddenly, it has become a lot harder to see past the contradictions in the relationship, even though they have existed for quite some time. Meanwhile, many in Washington, London, Paris and Berlin are now asking a vitally important question: Does this partnership still make sense?

This article has been excerpted from Susanne Koelbl's newly released DER SPIEGEL book "12 Weeks in Riyadh: Between a Dictatorship and a New Beginning," which has been published by DVA.



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major general roger noble nobly makes a major mistake...

New details have emerged about information warfare tactics and battlefield secrets used in the effort to defeat the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

Key points:
  • Major General Roger Noble said Coalition forces needed to challenge IS's extremist narrative 
  • He said it was possible to sow discord among enemy fighters as IS used foreign recruits and Iraqis
  • He made the comments in a rare public address at UNSW's Defence Research Institute


In a rare public address, an Australian General talked at length about how the battle against IS required more than simply dropping bombs.

Major General Roger Noble spoke of the need to challenge the extremist narrative espoused by IS fighters in the bid to eradicate the terrorist group from Syria and Iraq.

"It's [more than] clearing cities, destroying targets, dropping bombs, the Western focus on kinetic fighting — it's to defeat the idea," he said.

"Everything they did was about the narrative and the message."

The Major General is now the Australian Defence Force's Deputy Chief of Joint Operations, but in 2016 was effectively the second-in-command of the Coalition forces in Iraq.

He made the comments at UNSW's Defence Research Institute, where he detailed how it was possible to sow discord among enemy fighters because IS used foreign recruits and Iraqis.


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Either Major General Roger Noble is naive, either he carries on the traditional bullshit of "terrorism" through the official silly narrative, to massage your brains with bullshit...

ISIS (IS, ISIL) was (is) an invention of the US and the Saudis (Sunnis, Wahhabis) in order to destroy Iran (Persia, Shia Muslims) and Syria (socialism, despot) while weakening Iraq (mostly Shia) — all as part of the Sir Halford Mackinder's doctrine. Until one understands this FACT, one lives in lalalalaland... "Everything they did was about the narrative and the message." YES, but the message is that of Saudi Arabia and part of the US game plan.

Like the mujahideen were supported by the Yanks through the CIA to defeat "socialism" (and the Russians) in Afghanistan, the US has been financing and weaponising ISIS through various means to destabilise Syria. It had to reduce the damage of this "unfortunate" terror when the said terrorists went a bit too far in their bad deed such as public video posted decapitations of innocent people.

That we hum-and-err about repatriation of "our" IS fighters, spouses and kids because they have had an Aussie, Yankie, Sweedish, Froggy passport should ring alarm bells. That the USA still encourage the ISIS mentality in their "refugee" camps in Syria should tell you where the bread of terrorism is buttered from...


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Read also:

how it's done... SOTTO I NOSTRI OCCHI — before our eyes (updated - in italian)...


der tiefe staat schlägt zu... or the deep state (USA) preparing to launch WW3...


we could get nastier than that...


the deep state has donald by the balls...


the imbeciles are preparing for war...


the battle for the north pole...


the WW1 conspiracy...


soldiering in neutral countries in prep for war against the rooskies...


and especially:


admiral arthur cebrowski's middle-east...

sunni Islamic militants are 4 times more numerous than in 2001.

Despite Washington’s extremely costly worldwide ‘War on Terror’, nearly four times as many Sunni Islamic militants are operating around the world today as on September 11, 2001, a new study has found.

As many as 230,000 jihadists are spread across 70 countries, with the largest concentrations of terrorists located in Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington DC think tank.

The shocking reported spike in the number of Sunni jihadists worldwide raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the US-led Global War on Terrorism, which was launched in the wake of the deadly attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.


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